The Ladder Program

Serving Pre-K – 12


Specialized Learning and Support for Unique Needs

The Ladder Program offers intensive individualized programming for individuals who experience neurodevelopmental, educational, and other challenges. Clients are commonly placed in 1:1 ratios, with group and peer interactions integrated throughout the day.

Staying true to the origins of Jacob’s Ladder and delivering intensive, tailored programs designed to meet the client’s unique needs are paramount within our model of care. The Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care®’s (IWBMC™) strength-based programs offered through Jacob’s Ladder support the growth and health of all clients, regardless of their difficulties.

Through the IWBMC™, we determine individualized goals through comprehensive evaluations and assessments for all clients and provide step-by-step plans of care to achieve those goals successfully. Jacob’s Ladder is a SAIS-Cognia accredited school for full-time clients in pre-k through 12th grade.

"Neuroplasticity is defined as the ability of the brain to change based on the stimulation and input it receives. This plasticity gives the nervous system enormous potential for CHANGE and GROWTH." – Carla Hannaford, Smart Moves

The IWBMC™ & Ladder Program Components:

Who the Ladder Program Serves

The Ladder Program is for clients who experience neurobiological challenges leading to difficulties with communication, self-regulation, social interactions, mobility, and, often, global functional delays. Diagnoses commonly seen in the Ladder Program include:

Within the Ladder Program, all therapies and programming are implemented in low ratio (1:1 to 3:1), supportive, and nurturing environments with highly skilled and specially trained providers. Each Ladder Program client has multiple opportunities for positive peer-to-peer interactions throughout their school day. They can participate in group learning with placements determined by age, appropriateness, and ability. Placements also reflect each client’s highest challenge point in all academic subjects, optimizing the client’s learning abilities.

  • Neurodevelopmental assessment and annual re-evaluations focused on tactility, auditory, visual, manual, language, mobility, and emotional-behavioral-relational goals
  • Individual program design targeting the neurobiological framework for each client
  • Utilization of qEEG brain map analysis for corroboration with guided therapeutic plan and progress comparison
  • Address neurological organization through auditory and visual sequential processing work, working memory skills, processing speed, and retrieval abilities  
  • Sensory regulation activities to reorganize maladaptive pathways of sensory processing
  • Build self-regulation abilities and the ability to participate in and complete tasks
  • Frequent opportunities for movement, input, and stimulation, in addition to flexible seating options for individuals who have limited independent mobility  
  • Address Early Reflex Integration and other primitive brain functions through specified movement activities and patterns 
  • Positive interpersonal behavioral model of care to address behavioral challenges
  • Increase awareness of emotions and their connection to thoughts and behaviors to increase self-regulation abilities
  • Individualized academic curriculum completed 1:1 or in small groups
  • Teach academic skills through a multi-sensory approach and address any underlying visual or auditory processing challenges  
  • Address physiological barriers that impact overall brain health and central nervous system organization
  • Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, Cultural & Fine Arts, Health & Physical Education, and Elective Subject Area Focuses
  • Multi-Sensory Learning Approaches
  • Animal-Assisted Activities
  • Therapeutic Art
  • Circle Time
  • Cardiovascular and Cross-Lateral Movement Opportunities
  • Language Enrichment through Relationship and Play (LERP)
  • Interactive Science
  • Mindfulness & Self-Regulation Interventions (SRI)
  • Zones of Regulation® Curriculum
  • Music Therapy
  • Target social and relational challenges through structured peer interaction, social skills groups, and recreational-based activities
  • Group lessons incorporating experiential learning and generalizing knowledge across subject areas
  • Peer mentoring programs that promote empathy, caring, and support
  • Safe and nurturing learning environments built upon the core cultural values of Hope, Truth, & Love
  • Jacob’s Ladder programs support various levels of independence by incorporating activities that promote functional living skills, experiential learning opportunities, vocational skill-building, and academic exposure/exploration
  • Jacob’s Ladder offers short- or long-term support to increase success when moving from one phase of independence to the next, focusing on the client’s specific goals and outlining a step-by-step process to achieve those goals
  • Jacob’s Ladder programs offer Standard and Alternate diploma tracks in alignment with Georgia State Standards
  • The Community of Care program offers remote services, coaching, training, and oversight of Jacob’s Ladder therapeutic programming worldwide
  • Initial evaluations and re-evaluations occur onsite at our campus in Roswell, GA, while observations, ongoing support, and progress monitoring can be completed through conference and virtual calls
  • Families or caregivers often come to our campus for one- to two-year immersive experiences, deepening their understanding of the model and receiving intensive programming for their child
  • Parent and provider training on the client’s individualized program is also included within the Community of Care framework
  • Partnerships and additional service offerings with licensed service professionals, including Mental Health Counseling, Occupational, Speech, and Physical Therapy
  • Incorporation of additional therapeutic offerings, including Neurotherapy and Integrated Listening Systems (iLs)
  • Integration of Nutritional and Physiological Consultations with a Licensed Dietitian

Stories of Hope

Sometimes, the little moments are the biggest deal for the parents of a child with special needs. For one of our families, that moment occurred this summer when their daughter, Karis, walked on the beach hand-in-hand with her dad for the first time. She has been in JL’s Ladder Program for the past three years, receiving intensive therapeutic support for a rare genetic syndrome that limits mobility and communication and causes extreme sensory issues. Because of these challenges, a simple trip to the beach has been overwhelming for her and her family in previous years. However, this summer was different. After years of hard work, their daughter could stand at the water’s edge – no leg braces or shoes needed – and enjoy the sound of the ocean and the feel of the sand on her feet for the first time. Her mom was so excited she snapped this picture to capture this moment.


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