Serving Infants To Young Adults
Any Neurological Or Behavioral Challenge
Grounded In Science & Guided By Love
Jacob’s Ladder is a non-profit SAIS-SACS accredited private school serving pre-k through 12th grade students, as well as a therapy center serving infant through young adult students.
Our campuses throughout Metro Atlanta offer full-time and part-time enrollment options in a variety of learning environments, with level of support ranging from a 1:1 to a 6:1 student-teacher ratio.
We also offer various full-time and part-time remote enrollment options, facilitated either in-home or virtually, serving students and their families locally, nationally, and internationally.
In addition to serving students and their families directly, Jacob’s Ladder is committed to encouraging and empowering the global special needs community through research, training, certification, and licensure.
Accredited Private School
& Global Therapeutic Learning Model
Every day, our students overcome challenges and reach goals once thought impossible:
those who have struggled with social cues begin establishing eye contact and engaging with the world around them in a meaningful way,
those who have struggled to grasp language begin communicating not only their wants and needs, but also their original thoughts and feelings, in ways that ensure that they know they are heard and understood by those around them,
those who have struggled relationally due to anxiety or frustration begin managing their emotions and thriving in a group setting,
those who have struggled with intrinsic motivation begin to discern their unique passion and purpose, and to embrace that each day is a beautiful opportunity to work towards that which they personally care about, and
those who have struggled to learn in previous educational settings take steps towards unprecedented academic achievement.
Our Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care has transformed the lives of thousands of families and counting because it is grounded in science and guided by love.
Grounded In Science
A student's brain must be well-connected and properly communicating in order to achieve his or her full potential in learning, physiological health, and social, emotional, behavioral balance. Because the brain is malleable and capable of immense growth and change, our Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care never ceases to transform lives, regardless of students' age, diagnosis, or level of functioning.
Each student entering into Jacob’s Ladder completes a comprehensive therapeutic and educational evaluation that includes a global neurodevelopmental assessment, comprehensive academic assessment, nutritional consultation, and qEEG.
The global neurodevelopmental and comprehensive academic assessments are completed by our dedicated clinical team. They take into consideration 300 essential indicators across a wide range of modalities, and dive into academics as well as social, emotional, and behavioral factors. They involve testing all 19 early reflexes to discern which are integrated or unintegrated, and allow us to gain an understanding of how this may be impacting the way in which a student is experiencing life.
The nutritional consultation offers a deep dive into physiological indicators such as sleep, nutrient absorption, food sensitivities, and environmental exposures. Families gain a lifelong teammate in our Dietician, a 20-year Emory Lecturer in Health and Nutrition who truly seeks to understand each family’s unique journey and the inherent complexities our students face.
The qEEG utilizes technology designed to identify and measure the specific regions of a student's brain where communication flow is lacking (hypo-coherence) and where communication flow is locked up (hyper-coherence). It results in a visual representation of areas of the brain experiencing dysregulation, as well as information on impaired conduction, brain wave balance, and connectivity between different regional neuronal networks.
Based on our findings during the evaluation process, a very intentionally customized program is designed for each individual student – one that uniquely allows the student to develop the right neural pathways and normalize communication flow within the brain.
Programming encompasses a multidisciplinary approach that consists of hundreds of interventions to be completed consistently and with high intensity. In addition to being consistently refined by the latest research in neuroscience and our own depth of experience, our interventions pull what we believe to be the best principles from evidence-based disciplines such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, applied behavior analysis therapy, and relationship-based therapy.
Studies in neurogenesis and the benefits of exposure to negatively-charged ions, for example, have informed our daily routine as well as the composition of our campuses – which are very intentionally places of peace, beauty, joy, and healing. In addition to the therapeutic principles listed above, students engage in art therapy, music therapy, animal-assisted therapy, and our Taste of Love Bakery program as part of their regularly scheduled school week.
Placement is determined based on many factors, such as the level of support that will ensure a student experiences consistent challenge and consistent success each day. Programming is implemented each day by a dedicated team of teachers who come from a wide variety of related backgrounds, and who care deeply about our mission and the families we serve.
Guided By Love
Research is clear — a student must perceive an environment as “safe” in order to maximize learning and new neural growth. If an environment is not perceived to be safe, the brain generates a sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight) response and a flood of cortisol and adrenaline. Growth, change, and access to higher reasoning cannot occur in this survival state.
Interpersonal relationship deeply shapes and influences the development of a student's brain. Our commitment is that each student will experience their customized plan of care in a safe environment with instructors that embrace our core values of hope, truth, and love.
Over the past several decades, our Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care has been consistently refined by the latest research in neuroscience and integral evidence-based disciplines, as well as by our own depth of experience walking this journey alongside thousands of Jacob's Ladder families.
Our commitment to remain grounded in science and guided by love is steadfast and unwavering.
Like You, We Want Your Child To Reach Their Full Potential
Founded Because Of A Mother's Love For Her Son
What began as a mother’s refusal to give up hope for her son’s future has grown into a globally recognized Model of Care for families of children with a variety of neurological and behavioral challenges.
Amy O’Dell’s son, Jacob, was born with significant developmental delays. His early life was filled with endless evaluations and conflicting diagnoses. Despite the discouragement and sense of helplessness, Amy believed in Jacob’s potential.
Immersing herself in neurodevelopmental research, Amy began to develop the Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care. Through a customized activity program, she began to see the creation of new capacity and reorganization in Jacob’s brain. Jacob's growth and change was vast, measurable, and replicable.
Seeing a need in other families with stories similar to her own, she began providing the Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care, changing lives and brains one student at a time. As a visionary and woman of profound faith, Amy is committed to seeing Jacob's Ladder serve those who need us most.
Jacob has not only accomplished independence-related milestones such as obtaining his driver's license, but is a mission holder and a leader within Jacob's Ladder. As a teacher within The Hope School at Jacob's Ladder, Jacob has become a mentor to students and adults alike.
The wisdom he offers because of the path that he has walked is deeply valuable, and he has personally been a driving force in the healing process of our students and their families. Jacob daily walks out the redemptive journey of having overcome his own challenges in order to now help others overcome theirs. He embodies our belief that diagnosis and challenge can be honestly and accurately acknowledged, while simultaneously giving permission and occasion to celebrate people for exactly who they are.
Jacob has achieved many accomplishments worthy of celebration, but becoming an amazing human being who is positively impacting this world is undoubtedly at the top of the list.