Success Stories:
Genetic Syndromes

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Normalizing Neural Connections

Specific activities are recommended and implemented in each individualized model of care to normalize connections within the brain. The areas of focus have been observed as underutilized or over-active during our extensive assessments.

Genetic Syndromes

Student Name: Eli
Age: 6
Diagnosis: SCN2a gene mutation

Functional Challenges: Eli entered Jacob's Ladder with extreme levels of sensory over-processing and uncoordinated and involuntary movements. He had no language ability and could not stand or walk.

We identified and measured where communication flow was lacking in Eli's brain (hypo coherence) or where communication flow was locked and/or was overly used (hyper coherence) using comprehensive evaluations including a QEEG brain map.

This assessment served as the basis for his individualized model of care, which focused on the top 10 regions of Eli’s brain that were under-utilized, and the top 10 that were over-utilized to normalize neural connections. The goals set for Eli:

Goal #1: Communicate needs, wants, and feelings appropriately

Goal #2: Comply with caregivers and routines and understand expectations

Goal #3: Self-regulates behaviors

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"Communication has always been a goal and we’ve tried varied things and not all of them have worked. He is now more assertive and proactive and he has found his voice – there is a different quality about his desire and willingness to communicate. He has made a lot of gains physically too – a lot of progress using his walker; he literally got up from a seated position on the ground, went to his walker and turned around and was able to use it – and he learned all of that here.”

- Eli’s Parents

Eli's Program and Functional Gains

Within eight months, Eli’s individualized plan of therapeutic interventions and brain stimulation helped him dramatically increase motor control and sensory regulation abilities. He began to communicate well with a letterboard device, bear his own weight, and take initial steps independently. Eli worked hard in partnership with his teacher in intentionally created spaces that supported his learning goals. Daily behavior measurements helped his family track progress and celebrate many breakthroughs along his journey.

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

Eli's Brain Improvement

Eli experienced tremendous gains in his physiological and relational functioning as he developed the proper connections between areas in his brain. Below are examples of neural connections improvements he achieved as shown through qEEG measurements.

Communication flow between Eli's Orbital Frontal Lobeand 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.


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.


Areas of Focus

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
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

Find out how Jacob's Ladder helps children with genetic syndromes maximize their potential.

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

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