Mission Statement

The Learning Tree, Inc. exists to provide a warm, caring, and nurturing 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 40 years later, The Learning Tree serves hundreds of children and families from across the state of Alabama and the southeast region of the United States. The Learning Tree is widely known for exemplary services for children who engage in severely challenging behavior.

The Learning Tree provides residential schools in Birmingham, Jacksonville, Tallassee, and Mobile serving children, ages 6-21, with developmental disabilities, including autism. Preschool services are also available through The Little Tree Preschool located in Anniston.

School Consultation and Collaboration Services began in 2011. Services are coordinated with public school districts in Alabama training teachers on implementing applied behavior analysis (ABA) principles in their classrooms.

Growing Independence Behavioral Services (GIBS) clinics were established across Alabama in Albertville, Anniston, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile.