GALESBURG – A new law mandates the creation of a digital handbook to help teachers and parents recognize the symptoms of students with dyslexia.
The law directs the Illinois State Board of Education to create an online handbook that will provide information about childhood dyslexia for teachers, parents and guardians. The handbook will include guidelines to help adults to recognize the symptoms of dyslexia in children; a description of educational strategies shown to improve the academic performance of students with dyslexia; and a description of resources and services available to students, parents or guardians.
The handbook will be published on ISBE’s main website and users will be able to print copies.
ISBE’s director of media and external communications, Jackie Matthews, said the agency isn’t sure yet how many pages the book will be, or what specific educational strategies it will contain. The bill didn’t spell out a deadline for the project, but Matthews said “ISBE will diligently work in the weeks and months ahead to produce the handbook in a timely fashion.”
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 4369 on July 20. State Sen. Chuck Weaver, R-Peoria, sponsored the bill in the Senate after Stacy Carroll, executive director of the Peoria/Tazewell Dyslexia Awareness Network, called him this spring to talk to him about how schools work with dyslexic students and encourage him and his fellow lawmakers to take action.
She said she hopes the handbook will help more teachers recognize students with dyslexia in the classroom.
“A lot of times our kids aren’t even on the radar for that because kids with dyslexia are smart,” Carroll said. “A lot of times the teacher will pass them by.”
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