By Crystal Burns
Governor Bill Lee has appointed a Gibson County Special School District (GCSSD) board member to the Tennessee Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder as a representative of West Tennessee.
Treva Maitland, a mitigation specialist with the Public Defender’s Office in Trenton, received confirmation of her appointment on June 20. She was sworn in Friday afternoon in Gibson County Circuit Court.
Judge Clayburn Peeples administered the oath.
“I can tell you from experience there is no better advocate than Treva Maitland,” he said.
The Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder was created to establish a long-term plan for a system of care for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. The council is administratively attached to the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and makes recommendations and provides leadership in program development regarding matters concerning all levels of autism spectrum disorder services, including health care, education and other adult, adolescent and children’s services.
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States. Indicators of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.
In his confirmation letter to Maitland, the governor said, “I consider it very important to ensure that Tennessee’s boards and commissions are filled with the most dedicated and qualified citizens. I believe that your participation is certain to leave a positive impact on this board and the work it does.”
“Treva’s appointment is well deserved,” said GCSSD Director of Schools Eddie Pruett. “She has always been an advocate for doing what is best for kids. She has an uncanny ability in helping students, families and schools see what must be done in order to help kids succeeds in and out of school. She is a tremendous asset on the GCSSD board, and she will also serve the Tennessee Council on Autism Spectrum Disorder well in that role.”
Maitland holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a Master’s in Family and Consumer Sciences from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She and her husband Greg have two sons, Syler and Sydney. Sydney has autism.
“I’m humbled and honored to serve on this council,” Maitland said. “I’m very thankful for the folks that brought me to this spot.”