Dear Special Needs Network Families and Friends,

At the end of December 2019, the government in Wuhan, China, confirmed the detection of a new disease and treatment of a handful of cases. On January 11th, 2020, China reported its first death from the novel respiratory illness — dubbed COVID19, short for coronavirus disease 2019 — and as of this writing, there have been 180,000 confirmed cases of the disease and over 7,000 deaths.

We’re seeing disruptions to travel; sporting events, concerts, and conventions canceled; an unstable stock market; schools and workplaces closed or conducting business virtually; the shuttering of bars and restaurants; and the implementation of curfews and quarantines. It’s a reminder that we live in a complex and interconnected world and that we each have a duty — to both the more vulnerable and to ourselves — to take this outbreak seriously and engage in necessary health precautions to limit its spread.

Because the virus is new, and we don’t know what the future holds, this ambiguity can drive panicked, irrational responses and poor decision making — for now, the most important thing we can do is stay calm and follow the directives of public health professionals. But despite the fact that for most of us the risk remains relatively low, it’s normal in these times of collective uncertainty to experience stress, anxiety, and fear.

That’s why Special Needs Network is increasing all of our services and particularly, we are increasing access to licensed ABA and mental health therapy sessions online via our newly established teletherapy platform for families across the state of California. If you have a child or teen who has been authorized to receive ABA services or a child or teen that is receiving in-person ABA currently and you want those services delivered online, contact our compassionate care team at 323-291-7100 or email Also, if you believe your child or teen would benefit from ABA services but you have not been authorized for such services, I also encourage you to contact our team for more information.

We are also offering free mental health resources via our Coronavirus Facebook and Instagram Support Group. For both Special Needs Network users and non-users, we have created free Facebook and Instagram support groups where anyone can seek guidance and receive tips and resources about their mental health as it relates to the coronavirus outbreak — directly from a licensed therapist.
Additionally, these groups allow members to cultivate a sense of community and connection during what, for many, is becoming an isolating and lonely time. We’re offering public and private groups, but both are open to all — and there will be more coming soon, so stay tuned.

These are unprecedented times. But at Special Needs Network, we have a committed Board of Directors, dedicated donors, hard-working staff members, and incredibly compassionate parents who all know that we are stronger together. It is with that spirit, that we will continue to step up, do more, work harder and strive.

With hope,

Areva Martin
President & CEO