Neurological disorder school expands overseas

By ANDRES DIAZGRANADOS

A neurological disorder school in Roswell, Ga., plans on opening up an overseas campus in Asia by spring 2015.

Jacobs Ladder is a neurodevelopment-accredited private school, which provides education for students in prekindergarten through 12th grade. The school deals with any kind of neurological disorder ranging from autism to cerebral palsy. However, the majority of the students at Jacobs Ladder are diagnosed with autism.

The center is primarily set up as a private school, but it also serves as an outlet for students at public schools who need therapy or are seeking to improve their motor skills.

The children have their own specialized curriculum, because Jacobs Ladder teachers believe that each of their students have unique needs. Mackenzie Sherman, a neurodevelopment teacher at Jacobs Ladder, works one-on-one with students through an educational and therapeutic process.

“The mission statement is categorized in three words: hope, truth and love,” said Sherman. “It is something that we try to incorporate in our staff and with our students.”

Sherman follows the mission of the program by providing the students with as much help and support as he can give in order to advance his students’ goals.

Sherman works with a staff, which individually helps and educates 85 students daily. The researched and scholarly staff plans specific lessons for the skills that are needed for each student.

According to Sherman, Jacobs Ladder is a reputable program, which has been recommended and discussed by people in the community. The reputation it has gained has pushed them to have plans in expanding overseas.

Once Jacobs Ladder expands overseas, it will have a separate campus in which students with learning disabilities can be helped. For now, Sherman notes the campus will be in Asia and will probably begin in 2015. There are currently no certain plans where the location of the new campus will be.

Jacobs Ladder also has a home stay program in which it flies over teachers from the Roswell location to work with students in Asia. Some of these teachers have been with the program since it first started 15 years ago.

The center started as a freestanding house in front of Roswell High School. The building has now grown, and even has a trail and a farm for the students. The nature trail and farm allow the students to learn how to deal with other living organisms and various life lessons.

A colleague of Sherman, Perry Watkins, also works as a neurodevelopment teacher at Jacobs Ladder.

He noted that he has seen tremendous amounts of growth in his students at the center.

“One month ago, one of my students with autism was unable to pronounce different staff names fully,” said Watkins. “Now this student can fully pronounce the names of most of the staff, and he even uses hand gestures to properly express himself.”

Watkins mentioned that the therapies and the methods that Jacobs Ladder uses sets it apart from other learning disability schools, and has shown success with the students who are enrolled.

“Working at Jacobs Ladder has helped me realize that no matter what, kids are just kids,” said Sherman.

With the help and support from the staff at Jacobs Ladder, the center will continue to grow and expand to other countries around the world.

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