Success Stories:
Full Spectrum Autism

girl with autism

Sensory Input Opportunities

Many students with autism spectrum diagnoses benefit from a robust sensory motor program. Opportunities for sensory input abound at Jacob's Ladder.

Full Spectrum Autism

Student Name: Chris
Age: 16
Diagnoses: Autism Spectrum Disorder,
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Dyspraxia

Functional Challenges: Chris entered Jacob's Ladder exhibiting primal displays of emotionality, immense social anxiety, and language challenges that prevented social engagement and meaningful exchanges with others.

Based on Chris' evaluation, including a qEEG brain map, we identified and measured where communication flow was lacking in Chris' brain (hypo-coherence) or where communication flow was locked and/or overly used (hyper-coherence).

His individualized model of care was developed to normalize connections between his top 10 hypo-coherent connections and top 10 hyper-coherent connections. Over the span of three years, he engaged in specific activities in The Ladder environment focused on achieving his emotional-behavioral goals:

Goal #1 Implement perspective taking in social relationships.

Goal #2 Establish a working understanding of perseverative (insistently repetitive) thoughts as related to present-minded thinking.

Goal #3 Develop awareness of mind-body connection during cognitive endeavors in order to maintain homeostasis.

quote marks

"There is a light at the end of every tunnel. Having Autism doesn’t mean it’s the end, it means that there’s a different way that the child can learn; if you have a child with Autism, and you can figure out how to get them here, this place has worked miracles."

​- Chris' Parents

Chris' Program and Functional Gains

Chris' individualized plan included learning to self-regulate and self-advocate with proven tools and development of skills. Working with his teacher in an atmosphere of trust and unconditional positive regard, his behavior was measured daily in relationship to his goals. As Chris developed the proper connections between areas in his brain, he experienced tremendous gains in his emotional, behavioral, and communication functioning, as well as significant academic gains.

August 2016

  1. Would often show primal displays of emotionality

  2. Immense social anxiety

  3. Challenges with language that prohibited social engagement and meaningful exchanges with others

September 2019

  1. Employs self-referencing and perspective-taking to appropriately advocate for needs in the moment

  2. Frequently participates in social gatherings and has a large social network

  3. Increased complexity of his own thoughts, allowing for higher levels of output on academics and production of more complex language

Chris' Brain Improvement

Our Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care achieves transformational outcomes that students and families experience in daily life. Below, Chris' neural connections improvements can be seen through updated qEEG measurements.

Communication flow between Chris' Prefrontal Cortex and Anterior Cingulate Gyrus was lacking by -3.75 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Through Chris' individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved his communication flow to +0.32 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Chris-Hypo-Coherence

Communication flow between Chris' Orbital Frontal Association Cortex and Temporal - Primary Auditory Cortex was locked and/or overly-used by +6.18 standard  deviations from a normalized connection.

Through Chris' individualized model of care, activities were implemented that improved his communication flow to +0.09 standard deviations from a normalized connection.

Chris-Hyper-Coherence cr2

Areas of Focus

Prefrontal Cortex (Left)

  • Planning and evaluating complicated goal-directed behavior
  • High level cognitive reasoning including making inferences about other people
  • Analyzing risk versus benefit
  • Attention
Prefrontal-Cortex-Left

Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (Left)

  • Self-evaluation
  • Evaluative judgement and precautionary reasoning
  • Interpretation and synthesis of almost all sensory input
Anterior-Cingulate-Gyrus-Left-32

Orbital Frontal Association Cortex (Right)

  • Modulation of affect: empathy, consequences of actions, self-expression, willpower, planning
  • Inferencing about other people
  • Executive control of behavior
Orbital-Frontal-Association-Cortex-BA-11-Right Chris

Temporal - Primary Auditory Cortex (Right)

  • Hearing different frequencies, pitch, intensities, and acoustic patterns
  • Mirror neurons
  • Visual/spatial working memory
Temporal-–-Primary-Auditory-Cortex-BA-41-Right

Listen to how Jacob's Ladder helped Jennifer and Derek's son, Connor

Find out how Jacob's Ladder helps children with full spectrum autism maximize their potential.

HTL graphic

Jacob's Ladder School & Therapy Centers
Roswell (Main Campus) & Atlanta (Buckhead)
407 Hardscrabble Road
Roswell, Georgia 30075

Founder's Story

Read Our Story

Scroll to Top