Supporting Communication using the LAMP™ Word for Life approach

Supporting Communication using the LAMP™ Word for Life approach

The Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) approach was developed by John Halloran, Cindy Halloran and Mia Emerson.

What is LAMP™ Words for life (WFL)?


LAMP is a proven-therapeutic approach based on neurological and motor learning principles to address the language development and communication needs of children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

How does the LAMP WFL approach work?

When typically developing children are learning to say words, they use consistent motor patterns to say these words. The combination of the motor pattern (e.g. the way the tongue moves, if the voice box on/ off), the sound that motor pattern produces (e.g. “water”), and the reaction they get from the environment (e.g. the adult gives the child water) supports them to learn the word. LAMP presents vocabulary in the same way so that those language connections can be developed.

When using verbal speech, there is only one motor movement of the mouth for each spoken word. In LAMP each word is only stored in one place so that there is only one motor pattern per word too.

LAMP provides a consistent motor pattern for words and a systematic way to develop communication skills allowing for unlimited language growth opportunities.

LAMP™ approach in action

Who is the LAMP WFL approach suitable for?

LAMP is designed to give individuals who are non-verbal or have limited verbal abilities a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves through the use of a speech-generating device.

There is no cognitive prerequisites required for LAMP as intervention can begin at cause and effect level and systematically build upon the typical stages of natural language development.


  • Dukhovny, E. “Effect of Size-Centered vs. Location-Centered Grid Design on Aided AAC Productions.” Poster session presented at American Speech and Hearing Association Conference; 2015 Nov 12-14; Denver CO.
  • Potts, M. and Satterfield, B. (2013). ” Studies in AAC and Autism: The Impact of LAMP as a Therapy Intervention.” Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program June 20,2013

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