Our Story

The Hope of One Person Changed Everything

How We Got Started: HOPE

What started as the hope for a positive outcome for one child has become a fully realized restorational and educational movement. This monumental model of care, with replicable results backed by nearly three decades of data and 4,000+ individuals served, is pioneering a new future for individuals with neurobiological challenges.

A mother’s refusal to accept conventional medical advice regarding her beloved son’s future limitations drove her to extensively build upon her therapy and counseling background to study neurological development and related interventions. Amy O’Dell’s purpose-driven work through Jacob’s Ladder spans three decades. She is now recognized as a leading innovator and global expert on the essential intersection of therapeutic education, neurobiology, and development.

Dear Friends,

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my life’s work with you. If you are a parent amid a new diagnosis with your child or are experiencing the ongoing difficulty of watching a loved one struggle, we would consider it a great joy to help you and your family shift toward hope and see potential realized.

That is our mission here at The Jacob’s Ladder Group.

Over three decades, significant growth has enabled us to serve thousands of students through individualized programs and life-changing methodology. We have remained faithful to our core values of Hope, Truth, and Love throughout all this time. And we have deepened our belief that true healing and transformation are possible within these core values.
In fact, they are expected.

Taking the best in neuroscience and neurobiological advancements and applying them within a culture richly steeped in love – each important and necessary for growth – we help our students achieve far beyond traditional expectations. The Interpersonal Whole-Brain Model of Care® (IWBMC™) provides targeted and individualized therapeutic plans delivered daily within an authentic relational interaction model, allowing for experiences of safety and connection.

Our model is no magic bullet. It takes time, collaboration, and dedication. These defining elements must be present as our team utilizes each moment daily as a therapeutic opportunity.
This journey has been a miraculous one. It has been a humbling and gratifying experience to meet the thousands of children and families served by The Jacob’s Ladder Group. I have witnessed many transformations.
Jacob, my son and the namesake of our school, is now a phenomenal young man—a teacher, a trainer of a yellow lab named Grace, and the mission holder of The Jacob’s Ladder Group. He has a true gift of understanding and connecting with his students with a grace-filled strength that helps lead them forward. Given Jacob’s beginning in life, he also has great insight into situational assessment and strategy development, which is a miracle to witness.
Through the years, my daughter Aubry has completed extensive training and has become well-versed in every aspect of Jacob’s Ladder, both clinically and operationally, and is an integral part of the school. Maybe most importantly, she has grown up as the daughter of a mom who focused an extraordinary amount of time and energy on her younger sibling. And she grew up as a sibling to her little brother Jacob, who struggled mightily at times.
Many of you reading this have a family system with a similar dynamic and can identify with the profound joy and sorrow that accompanies it.

In closing, I must share this: the most incredible gift about this journey with Jacob, Aubry, and the creation of The Jacob’s Ladder Group has been the deepening of my faith, learning how to depend on God in each and every step.

As Christ said to the Apostle Paul,
“My grace is sufficient for you, 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

Founder & CEO


The story of HOPE - One life transformed launched a movement that would reach the world

Amy’s refusal to accept the prognosis that her son would never live a normal life shows that we have the power to facilitate change if we are willing to be brave and step into the unknown. 

Key Milestones

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