Eli's Success Story:

Genetic Syndromes


Student Information

Name: Eli*

*actual name replaced to protect the identity of the student and family

Gender: Male


Age: 6

Diagnosis: SCN2a gene mutation

Evaluation Dates: June 2015 & February 2016

Initial Functional Challenges: Eli entered Jacob's Ladder exhibiting extreme levels of sensory over processing and extreme levels of uncoordinated and involuntary movements. He did not have any functional language – either receptive or expressive communication patterns. He was unable to stand, weight bare, or walk.


Eli's Individualized Plan

Based on Eli’s evaluation, we created an individualized model of care to help Eli develop a better-connected brain and reach the following emotional-behavioral goals.

Goal #1


Communication: Eli communicates all wants, needs, and feelings appropriately

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Expresses emotions appropriately


2. Accepts basic truths within his day


3. Accesses Self-Regulation Strategy

Goal #2


Non-Compliance: Eli displays compliance within/for demands and transitions

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Understands feedback loop of expectations

2. Follows a routine when working

3. Accepts authority of parents and providers

Goal #3


Self-Stimulatory Behavior: Eli utilizes therapeutic replacement mechanisms for self-stimulatory behaviors

Behaviors Measured Daily

1. Maintains a calm body

2. Accepts redirection

3. Accesses bank of Self-Regulation Strategies


What Eli's Parents Experienced

"Coming here was relief, followed by receiving an assessment that will actually tell us something about him. There are only certain people that can actually get him and I was able to tell immediately that his evaluator was one of those people. I am a data person – and to have an assessment that actually had data and someone that gets him followed by a plan that is multifaceted was such a relief."

- Eli's Parents

Eli’s Functional Gains Over 8 Months

As Eli developed the proper connections between areas in his brain, he experienced tremendous gains in his physiological and relational functioning. 

Starting at Jacob's Ladder

1. Extreme levels of sensory over processing.


2. Extreme levels on uncoordinated and involuntary movements.


3. No functional language – either receptive or expressive communication patterns.


4. No ability to stand, weight-bear, or walk.

8 Months Later

1. Nervous system calmed with dramatic increase in sensory regulation abilities.


2. Motor control increase with substantial decrease in involuntary muscle activity.


3. Able to functionally communicate with letterboard device.


4. Weight-bearing and taking initial steps independently.


How Eli's Brain Changed Over 8 Months

By utilizing a QEEG brain map, we were able to identify and measure where communication flow was lacking in Eli's brain (hypo coherence) or where communication flow was locked and/or was overly-used in Eli's brain (hyper coherence).


We identified Eli's top 10 hypo coherent connections and top 10 hyper coherent connections. Based on the regions of the brain that were struggling to communicate, it became clear why he was experiencing his functional challenges.


Over 8 months, specific activities were implemented in his individualized model of care to normalize these connections. Below is an example of two connection improvements.  


Example #1 of Eli's Brain Improvement

Communication flow between Eli's Orbital Frontal Lobe and Anterior Cingulate Gyrus was lacking by -7.10 standard deviations from a normalized connection.


Through Eli's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved his communication flow to -2.26 standard deviations from a normalized connection.


Orbital Frontal Lobe (Left)

  • Planning and evaluating goal directed behavior

  • Making inferences of other people

  • Modulation of affect: empathy, consequences of actions, self-expression, problem solving

  • Executive functioning

Anterior Cingulate Gyrus​ (Left)

  • Hub of emotional brain

  • Executive network functions, reasoning

  • Verbal fluency and naming of objects

Example #2 of Eli's Brain Improvement

Communication flow between Eli's Occipital Cortex and Posterior Cingulate Gyrus was locked and/or overly-used by +4.59 standard deviations from a normalized connection.


Through Eli's individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved his communication flow to -2.51 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Occipital Cortex (Right)

  • Visual processing of features and patterns

  • Light intensity

  • Recognition and memory of word association for objects and faces


Posterior Cingulate Gyrus​ (Right)

  • Interpretation and synthesis of incoming sensory input

  • Emotional link to word meaning

  • Fear conditioning