Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) trial

Children with autism have had the opportunity to develop their language skills and some have even developed speech after participating in the StGiles Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) trial.

StGiles’ Participate Assistive Technologies Service was first introduced to LAMP at the AGOSCI conference in 2011 by its developer John Halloran a Speech Pathologist from America.  He and his wife Cindy (Occupational Therapist) developed the approach by utilizing motor learning principles along with the Unity Language system. 

StGiles strives to provide evidence based practices, so after hearing about LAMP and seeing some of the emerging evidence, it was thought to be a sound approach to explore further.

After an initial trial with families in Hobart, we saw some positive results so conducted a state wide pilot project.  This pilot was conducted from 2012-2013 and following the successful results helped us decide how we would implement LAMP at StGiles.

Peter Hockley and Katie Greatbatch are now certified LAMP practioners and StGiles has endorsement from the Centre of AAC and Autism in America to conduct LAMP training

Harrison’s Story

Harrison turned 5 in December 2014.

We have video footage of early sessions where he can’t talk (2012), and by 2014 was now speaking in sentences.


Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) is a therapeutic approach based on neurological and motor learning principles.

The goal is to give individuals who are nonverbal or have limited verbal abilities a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves in any setting. LAMP focuses on giving the individual independent access to vocabulary on voice output AAC devices that use consistent motor plans for accessing vocabulary.

Teaching of the vocabulary happens across environments, with multisensory input to enhance meaning. The child’s interests and desires help determine the vocabulary to be taught.

The LAMP approach involves five basic components: (1) Readiness to Learn, (2) Shared Engagement, (3) Consistent Motor Patterns, (4) Auditory Signals, and (5) Natural Consequences. Together these components work to achieve language connections that include the growth of vocabulary, extension of language meaning, and generalization of words & concepts to other contexts.

Individuals with autism may have dysfunction in motor planning and sensory processing which are addressed with this approach. The LAMP approach continues to be enriched with the emergence of new information in neurology and motor learning and through the successes and struggles shared by parents, therapists, and emerging communicators. We are learning together!

As a result of intervention using the LAMP approach, it is hoped that the individual will gain the ability to independently and spontaneously communicate whatever they want to say.

Learning a language takes many years for the neurologically typical individual. LAMP is not a cure. LAMP is a method for providing an individual with a language system that can progress from first words to fluent communication.

Many individuals using the LAMP approach have demonstrated success with some becoming very communicative and some increasing the amount of their verbal speech.

This is a link to the  ABC 7:30 Report  and an article they did on our  LAMP program.