Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) introduced legislation naming the last week of October Dyslexia Awareness Week in Illinois.
Dyslexia affects 70-80 percent of people with reading difficulties and is more common than autism or attention deficit disorder.
“I think we need to start by doing a better job of identifying dyslexia," Senator Bush said. “First and foremost, we need to increase awareness, but equally important is coming up with funding mechanisms to screen for early detection.”
Bush is very interested in working with parents and the Illinois State Board of Education to figure out the best way to identify the learning disability early on, without burdening school districts with more unfunded mandates.
“I absolutely support the idea of early testing,” Bush continued. “The earlier we can detect a learning disability, the earlier we can implement alternative learning tools to counteract it. I am, however, concerned about the unintended costs that could fall on school districts by mandating such screenings. I want to make sure that if we require early detection, we can back it up with the necessary resources.”
In early November, Bush will bring together parents from Lake County, representatives from ISBE, the governor’s office and members of the education committee to discuss long term goals for the early detection of dyslexia. Bush’s Joint Resolution, which was adopted in the Senate on Wednesday, marks the first step toward improving awareness of dyslexia.
The resolution will now be sent to the House for further consideration.
—Submitted on behalf of Melinda Bush.