CEO and Founder, Jacob’s Ladder and AHAVA
Amy O’Dell is the Founder and CEO of Jacob’s Ladder, a non-profit school and research center in Roswell, Georgia, and AHAVA, a digital platform for human restoration and growth (releasing in 2023). A leading healthcare innovator and global pioneer in special needs education, neurobiology, and development, Amy gives people with neurobiological delays or disorders a clear path to hope, healing, and transformation amidst the obstacles they face. Her groundbreaking methodology, the Interpersonal Whole Body Model Care (IWBMC) model, harnesses the extraordinary ability of the brain to heal and develop new capacities at any age. Amy’s greatest passion is to help provide restoration and uncover a potential most would overlook. Amy is also the author of the forthcoming book, Free to Flourish.
She holds a degree in Activity Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Clemson University. She is a licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia and South Carolina and also has extensive experience in a variety of clinical settings. Beginning as an intern with Shephard Spinal Center in Atlanta, she has held the positions of Director of Activity Therapy and the Director of Adolescent Psychiatric Services at Woodridge Psychiatric Hospital in Clayton, Georgia.
Following the birth of her son, and recognizing that he would require additional help and support to succeed, Amy’s focus shifted in order to care for Jacob’s unique needs. She began intensive training on the Neurodevelopmental approach, cumulating in certification as a Neurodevelopmental Consultant. This training led her to further research and develop the Jacob’s Ladder Methodology, incorporating the process of evaluation, program design, and therapeutic implementation into a cohesive model.
After founding Jacob’s Ladder in 1998, Amy has had the privilege to serve over 4,000 children with diagnoses ranging from developmental delays, seizure disorders, genetic or chromosomal diagnoses, or emotional/social/behavioral disorders. After realizing that the need for therapeutic interventions is not limited to the United States, she is currently developing an additional arm to Jacob’s Ladder – one with a global impact. Thru the creation of a global ministry, Jacob’s Ladder hopes to reach children from impoverished nations who may not have access to modern medicine. By aiding children and their families both local and abroad, Amy hopes to continue improving the quality of life and inspire HOPE for more children and their families.