SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – With wide bipartisan support, state Representative Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, passed legislation last week that creates the option of a social-emotional screening as part of a standard school physical.
“Our educational system is supposed to prepare students for the real world the best it can, teaching them about the world and themselves,” said Lilly. “A social or emotional delay can drastically hinder the progress of a student. If we are able to help these children as soon as possible, it gives them every opportunity of living a fulfilling life.”
Rep. Lilly-sponsored Senate Bill 565 allows for schools and parents to conduct an age-appropriate developmental screenings in addition to the physical health examinations required to attend school. This legislation hopes to catch commonly missed conditions early and give students the best opportunities to succeed in their education. The bill was supported by the Loyola Child Law Center, the Legal Council for Health Justice, and the Association of School Social Workers. The bill passed the House and Senate last week, and is awaiting approval from the Governor before it becomes law.
“Some social-emotional delays can take years to detect without proper screenings,” said Lilly. “It is my hope that this legislation will put this incredibly important screening on the radar of parents who want to reduce the barriers to success for their children.”