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Letter From Founder


Dear Friends,

As of this writing in February 2016, my son Jacob is 22 years old. He is a phenomenal young man – teacher, trainer of a yellow lab named Grace, and the mission holder of our school, Jacob’s Ladder. He is a young man with such insight into self and others, as well as situations and strategies. I regularly process all things related to Jacob’s Ladder with him.

This is an amazing and miraculous thing to be able to say, given the diagnosis and prognosis we were given when he was a young child. With a global developmental delay, the challenges at times seemed insurmountable. Yet still, there was so much that seemed hopeful in him – a true knowing in his eye that led to a search for answers – then many years of hard work.

The model of neuroplasticity – which involves specific interventions delivered very consistently – is no magic bullet; it takes time and dedication. Jacob’s Ladder was built with this as the defining element. Every moment is a learning moment, and our staff is dedicated to using each and every moment as such.

Our core values of HOPE, TRUTH, and LOVE define the essence of our organization.

HOPE is a cherished trust in transformation and a life lived through possibilities.

TRUTH is integrity in action, character, and speech based on what is accurate and honest.

LOVE always HOPES and perseveres, regardless of circumstances, and is a choice we make to value and honor one another with our actions.

These core values make Jacob’s Ladder a place where healing and transformation are possible – actually, expected. We have taken the best of science and neurobiological advancements and have applied them in a culture richly and deeply steeped in love. Both are important, both are necessary for growth.

For me personally it has been a humbling and gratifying experience to meet the thousands of children and families that have been served at Jacobs’s Ladder over the last 18 years. I have witnessed much transformation.

If you happen to be reading this and are a parent in the midst of a new diagnosis, or the ongoing difficulty that comes with watching your child or loved one struggle, I hope I get the chance to meet and speak with you. I would consider it great joy to help.

In closing, I must share this; the greatest gift about this journey with Jacob and the creation of Jacob’s Ladder has been the deepening of my faith.

As Christ said to the Apostle Paul,

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

It was in the weakness, the brokenness, and the struggle that we found life.


Amy O'Dell - M.Ed., LPC, TRS, CNC
Founding Director, Jacob's Ladder