Mission Statement

The Learning Tree, Inc. exists to provide a warm and loving environment with individualized, empirically validated services and supports to persons with significant educational, medical, and behavioral challenges; helping them develop and maintain a quality of life expected by non-disabled members of their family and community.


The Learning Tree is a private nonprofit organization, founded in 1983 by two former public school teachers. In response to the desperate pleas of three local parents in Mobile, Alabama, co-founders Jerre Brimer and Pat Murphy established a school environment that would nurture, challenge, and provide individualized instruction, with 24-hour care, year-round. The first residential school was designed to serve the four children. Initially, the school was financially supported by the personal funds of the founders. This “grassroots” program proved to be highly successful in managing the significant behavioral, physical, and cognitive challenges of the children.

Today, more than 30 years later, The Learning Tree serves more than 600 children and families from across the state of Alabama and the southeast region of the United States. The Learning Tree operates seven programs in the north, central and southern regions of the state.

The Learning Tree provides three residential schools that includes thirty homes for children in Mobile, Jacksonville, and Tallassee – for children, ages 6-21, with developmental disabilities, including autism. Preschool services are also available through The Little Tree Preschools in Mobile, Anniston, and Auburn.  The Learning Tree is widely known for exemplary service for children who engage in severely challenging behavior.