Monday, January 19, 2015

Areva Martin

Autism Light #374 is Areva Martin.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This post is our 4th annual feature to honor someone who is an Autism Light in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Previous honorees on Martin Luther King, Jr. day include: Elijah Winfrey (Autism Uncle), Joshua Bennett (Autism Brother), and King Richard (Individual with Autism). If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were still with us today, there is no doubt in my mind he would have been an autism advocate and that he would have been a close ally with the following dynamic and successful autism mother.

Areva Martin is an outstanding children's and family rights attorney, author, speaker and media personality and an autism mother from Los Angeles, California. Areva Martin's son Marty has autism. Areva Martin is an Autism Light because of the tremendous difference her advocacy is making to shine a light on autism, especially it's impact on minority communities.

Areva Martin said about autism, "It impacts more children than pediatric AIDS, diabetes, childhood cancer; it is the leading childhood disorder. So given the enormous number of children that are going to be impacted, it really requires all of us to become advocates (As Quoted in the St. Louis American, Sandra Jordan, April 23, 2010).

Areva Martin grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. The following biographical video on her amazing life was done by Living St. Louis.

Attorney: Areva D. Martin is a successful attorney in the Los Angeles area specializing in children's and family rights. The law firm she operates with her husband Ernest Martin, Jr., called Martin & Martin LLP, is one of the top law firms in the Los Angeles area.

Education: Areva Martin is a graduate with honors of the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School.

Special Needs Network, Inc.: Areva Martin is the President and co-founder of the Special Needs Network, Inc. She started this nonprofit organization after her son Marty was diagnosed with autism. The Special Needs Network has the following mission.
Our mission is to raise public awareness of developmental disabilities and to impact public policy while providing education and resources to families, children and adults. SNN serves as a link between under-served communities and mainstream developmental disability organizations and governmental institutions which often fail to address issues specific to these communities. SNN firmly believes that dignity, hope, and opportunity are the birthright of all children (Special Needs Network Website). 
Areva Martin's biography at IMDb says that the Special Needs Network "has raised millions of dollars and provided for over 15,000 families in low income communities across California (Areva Martin-Biography IMDb)."

The following is an interview with Areva Martin on her book The Everday Advocate.

Author: Areva Martin is the author of the following books.
Areva Martin also writes advocacy articles for media outlets including one she wrote in November, 10, 2014, for Huffington Post called Children of Color and Autism: Too Little too Late

Media Personality: Areva Martin is a frequent legal analyst on television programs such as Anderson Cooper 360, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, The CBS Early Show, and Fox News. There are clips of recent appearances she has made on television on the video section of the Areva Martin Website. Other autism features involving Areva Martin include:

Social Media: You can follow Areva Martin on the following social media areas. She is especially active on Twitter.
Special thanks to Areva Martin for her advocacy for autism as an autism mother, attorney, author, and media personality. The ripple effects of her passion and work on behalf of autism can be felt around the United States and beyond. Areva Martin's work is an inspiration to the autism community. May her example light the way for others to serve those with autism, especially to help with the needs related to autism in the African American community.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism. 

The photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. in this post is in the Creative Commons of Wikipedia and is from the National Archives and Records Administration.

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