The Center for AAC and Autism

Back to What is LAMP? » Why LAMP?

Consistent and Unique Motor Patterns

The primary principle of the LAMP approach is that the motor plan a person uses to utter a word cannot be changed once it is learned. In order to communicate effectively, a person has to be able to monitor his environment, listen to another speaker, and follow the flow of the conversation. This cannot happen effectively if he has to cognitively attend to the icons, categories, and locations of vocabulary on his device.

Our brain develops motor plans to control movements that we use over and over again so that they may occur automatically. Examples of everyday activities for which we use motor plans include typing, handwriting, tying shoes, and certain aspects of driving a car.

When verbal individuals talk, they don’t have to concentrate on how to make the sounds that make up words; they concentrate on the idea of what they want to convey. The same principle hold true with an augmentative communication device as it replaces our articulators. If the motor movement required to say a word changes from one activity to another or over the course of an individual’s life as his need for vocabulary grows, his ability to access his vocabulary will not become automatic.