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Science Matters

Areva Martin, Esq.

Chairperson & President, Special Needs Network, Inc.

Known to audiences across the country from her regular appearances on The Dr. Phil Show, Anderson Cooper’s 360, The Doctors, and various CBS News programs, Areva is an accomplished and multi-award winning attorney, author and disability rights advocate who has also been featured on the pages of publications ranging from the Redbook, Parenting, and Ebony Magazines to the LA Times.

In addition to being an on-camera legal expert, Areva is a nationally recognized autism advocate and spokesperson. She is the founder and President of Special Needs Network, Inc., a Los Angeles based non-profit organization created specifically to raise awareness of issues that impact individuals with autism and related disabilities living in underserved and marginalized communities. SNN has provided services to over 20,000 families in communities across California and was instrumental in leading the charge for the passage of the state’s first mandate bill which requires private health insurance companies to fund autism therapies. Arevahas raised millions of dollars for autism related causes and through her advocacy, she has made the issue of serving minority children with autism a key priority for local and state policymakers.

Areva shares her story as a mother of an autistic child and her legal expertise in her second book, The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism and Other Special Needs. (Penguin 2010).  What critics are calling the most comprehensive and compelling book to date addressing the issues of the special needs community and the importance of advocacy in this country, The Everyday Advocate soared to the top of Amazon’s best seller list upon its release. 

She served as the only African-American woman and attorney on the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism and is currently the Chair of the South Los Angeles Autism Regional Task Force for the California Senate Select Committee on Autism. 

Areva has received numerous awards for her work including the 2011 California Legislative Black Caucus Civil Rights Leadership Award.  The founding and Managing Partner of Martin & Martin, LLP, one of the largest African American-owned law practices in Southern California, Areva graduated with honors from the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School. 

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