Special Needs Network, Inc.

Special Needs Network to Host Southern California’s Largest Autism and Special Needs Conference

Attendees during previous Tools for Transformation conference.

Special Needs Network will host its 9th Annual Tools for Transformation Conference this upcoming Friday and Saturday.



On Friday and Saturday, April 10-11, Special Needs Network (SNN) will host Tools for Transformation, a free conference for parents, professionals and businesses interested in critical issues related to autism, ADHD, early childhood education, and developmental and learning disabilities. The conference features 12 workshops, breakfast and lunch, free childcare for guests, giveaways and more. The conference is one of several programs offered by SNN during National Autism Awareness Month and is Southern California’s largest and most comprehensive FREE autism, special needs, education and learning disabilities conference for parents and professionals.


With its theme: Focus on Local: Moving the Needle on Health, Education and Social Justice Issues, the conference will bring together the region’s foremost experts in the fields of medicine, education, health care, advocacy, and community and civic engagement. A legislative breakfast will be held on Friday at the California African American Museum and the main conference will be held at the Junior Blind of America on Saturday. More than 2,000 participants are expected to attend. Online registration is available at or by calling (323) 291-7100.


The conference helps increase awareness of autism, which now impacts 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. The fastest growing childhood disorder in the country, autism is normally diagnosed before the age of two and impacts a child’s language, social skills and cognitive abilities. There are no known cures, but children who receive early intensive intervention services are more likely to be mainstreamed and ultimately live independently. Covering such therapies just got easier for parents in California with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of its insurance mandate law to include families who receive Medi-Cal.


“Helping families learn to navigate the new Medi-Cal system and other agencies that provide services to individuals with autism is critical,” says SNN’s president and founder, Areva Martin, Esq. “The more than 50 conference speakers will provide both parents and professionals with the resources and tools they need to access medical and education services for children and adults.”


In addition to addressing Medi-Cal, prominent experts explore controversial topics such as vaccines and the link to autism; school discipline and expulsions; and the latest treatment options for ADHD and mental health disorders. Participants will also have an opportunity to interact with more than 50 resource vendors during a health and education fair on Saturday. Dr. Rita Eichenstein, a Beverly Hills neuropsychologist, will lead a question and answer session and sign copies of her new book, “Not What I Expected: Help and Hope for Parents of Atypical Children.”


Conference sponsors include Toyota, Los Angeles County Office of Education and First 5 LA.