Who We Are
We are a team of special education experts who work collaboratively with all involved professionals to design and review individualized plans, helping each child reach his or her unique potential. Each Special Education Expert has at least two decades of special education experience.
Individualized Education Planners is made up of experienced special education professionals who specialize in ADHD, autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities, emotional disability, gifted, twice exceptional, speech and language, vision and hearing, physical challenges, developmental delays and much more. Each IEP Expert has at least two decades of special education experience as teachers, administrators, and education consultants.
Richard Weinfeld directs Weinfeld Education Group, LLC, a group of over 25 educational consultants, located in Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. In addition to directing the work of the company, Mr. Weinfeld provides direct special education consultation services to families of students with special needs. Mr. Weinfeld also provides extensive parent and staff training and consults with schools about appropriate programming for students.
Rich has long been an advocate for quality educational programs for all students. Twenty-six years of his thirty-year career, with Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools, were spent in a variety of leadership roles in special education. Mr. Weinfeld has expertise in working with students with a wide range of disabilities including learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and emotional disabilities. He served as Montgomery County’s first full-time coordinator of programs for students who are simultaneously gifted and learning disabled.
Rich’s books include, School Success for Kids with High Functioning Autism, Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential; Helping Boys Succeed in School; School Success for Student’s with Asperger’s Syndrome; and Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book. He has also co-authored several articles on a variety of special education topics, including Legal Issues in Identifying and Serving Twice-Exceptional Gifted Learners. He was co-host of a weekly Internet radio show, “Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education.”
Rich presents at numerous national conferences. He has instructed at Johns Hopkins University, served on the Maryland State Department of Education's Gifted Advisory Committee, and served on the board of directors for the Association for Educators of Gifted Underachieving Student (AEGUS). Mr. Weinfeld is currently on the board of directors of International Partners, through which WEG sponsors a school in El Salvador. Mr. Weinfeld also serves on the editorial advisory board for CHADD’s Attention magazine.
Rich received his Masters degree from Trinity College and is certified in early childhood and elementary education, special education, administration and supervision.
Rich provides advocacy and expert witness services at WEG.
While working with the Montgomery County School system for thirty years, Robert Felton has been a teacher of students with learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and emotional disturbance. He was the county's first coordinator for students with cognitive disabilities.
In the role as coordinator, Mr. Felton was an important player in working with various organizations and companies to establish integrated worksites for students with developmental delays. He worked to extend the transition process beyond the world of work to develop resources to allow individuals with developmental delays to have a safe, stable home in which to live; to have access to a variety of places to engage in meaningful activities; to have a social network of meaningful relationships; and to have a level of personal choice that enhanced the quality of their lives to allow them to be safe and healthy.
Following his role as coordinator he became Supervisor of special education. During this time, he was noted for his strong efforts to advocate for the inclusion of students with a variety of disabilities in their home school, in general education classrooms, with appropriate supports.
Since retirement, Mr. Felton has been President of Pathways to Learning, an organization focused on teaching to the brain and promoting the transition of students with developmental delays into the world of adulthood. He conducts workshops on teaching with an emphasis on using movement, breath and touch to help focus the attention of the brain for teachers working with students with special needs in pre-school. In addition, he conducts training sessions for school staff on creating an inclusive school culture to address the needs of diverse learners.
Mr. Felton holds a BA in English from Elon University. He has a Masters in Special Education from Virginia Commonwealth University and Advanced Certification in Special Education Administration and Supervision from Virginia Tech University. He is certified as a special education administrator and supervisor, a special education teacher K-12 and a general education teacher of English in Maryland.
She has also worked with students with autism, intellectual limitations, specific learning disabilities, and ADHD.
As she enjoyed her position of certified special education teacher she eagerly pursued a M.Ed. in Rehabilitative Counseling which was obtained from Coppin State University in June of 1995. Pursuant to that she continued her studies at Loyola University by taking course work for administration/supervision certification. Her close to 30 years of work in the field of special education at various schools, has afforded her the opportunity to hold many positions; special education teacher, diagnostic/ prescriptive teacher, Assistant Principal and Director of Education.
As a Director of Education she maintained the accreditation and certification of the schools, opened new schools, hired and trained special education staff, provided program development training, oversaw the IEP process and maintained the schools budget. She has enhanced her professional growth by presenting at conferences and completing over 27 hours of special needs advocacy training.
For the last six years she has had the pleasure of serving in the capacity of educational consultant which has allowed her the ultimate pleasure of helping families successfully navigate the special education process. In addition to advocacy work, she provides mentoring and training to school staff, and is a University Supervisor for JHU, where she provides classroom observations and feedback to student interns who are pursuing certification in the field of special education.
Ms. Gilmore loves animals, fitness activities, traveling, and working with children.
Since 2011, Hayley has worked as an Educational Consultant successfully advocating for the needs of her clients. Hayley helps parents of special needs students to identify and seek out appropriate services for their children. She has advocated for those with ADHD, Emotional Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, FASD, Specific Learning Disabilities and Twice Exceptional students (GT/LD).
Hayley’s also serves as the School Selection Specialist for the group. In this role Hayley evaluates and recommends both public and private school options for parents trying to determine the correct placement of their children based on their individual needs.
Hayley is a trained ADHD coach and provides coaching support to students with ADHD, guidance to parents, and has facilitated ADHD support groups for children. This includes working with students to identify and teach appropriate strategies to improve executive function weaknesses and to improve self-advocacy skills.
Hayley’s professional training includes coursework under the direction of Dr. William Stixrud focusing on understanding the neuropsychology of learning and identifying best practices and strategies for helping students with various learning differences and executive function weaknesses. Hayley has also trained with Jodi Sleeper-Triplet as an ADHD coach specializing in teens and adolescents. In addition, she has completed specialized training in educational advocacy under the guidance of Rich Weinfeld and Wrightslaw training with Peter Wright.
Hayley Jacobson received a Bachelor of Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Science from Johns Hopkins University.
In addition to her professional work, Hayley is the mother of two children with ADHD and has advocated successfully on their behalf for many years at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
Amy Mounce is an experienced special educator, university instructor, educational diagnostician, and educator/parent trainer. Leveraging experience as a teacher in public and private institutions at multiple levels, as a consultant and certified special educator she has collaborated with families and educators to evaluate and create customized educational programs for individual students.
She has worked with a variety of children with disabilities including; Specific Learning Disabilities, AD/HD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Other Health Impairment, Intellectual Disabilities, and Speech and Language, Vision and Hearing Impairments. Her expertise in administering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative educational assessments result in refined education programs which best utilize students’ strengths and support deficits. She also creates and administers curriculum based assessments permitting individual education program progress monitoring against state curriculum standards and goals.
Her interests and past presentations at conferences and workshops include empowering parents to advocate for their children, effective programming for inclusion settings, IEP/504 development, universal design for learning, integrating assistive technology and formal/informal assessments. Amy earned a Master's degree in Learning Disabilities from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from American University. In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time outdoors, exercising and exploring the Washington, D.C. area with her husband and two children.
Jennifer has taught in private and public schools across the DMV.
Jennifer enjoys cooking, exercising and organizing closets.
In her leadership role as a designee for the Chief of District Operations, Shari coordinated and conducted expulsion hearings, consulted with school and central-based administrators regarding student discipline, investigated and made recommendations related to appeals dealing with student discipline; change of school assignment; complaints from the public; and other superintendent level appeals. She consulted with central office staff, all comprehensive and alternative schools, and the Board of Education. Shari has also served multiple times as an expert witness in Board level due process hearings.
Shari earned her Bachelor of Science in special education and her Master’s in Education in behavioral disabilities from the University of Maryland. She is certified to work with special education students pre-K through Adulthood while being highly qualified in secondary English, math, social studies, science and elementary/early childhood/Alt MSA. She has her Administration and Supervision Certificate from McDaniel College. Shari co-wrote and presented Beyond the Disciplinetraining both nationally and to Montgomery County Public Schools’ staff.
In her spare time, Shari enjoys working out on her Peloton, cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband, daughters, and dogs.
Rachel Wills has worked in the field of special education for over thirty years. She directed the largest special education program in Montgomery County Public Schools. Rachel worked with teachers, parents, advocates, attorneys, and school-based and county-level administrators to assure that all students received the services they needed and were entitled to. Over her years in school leadership, she has been a part of over 9000 IEP meetings. Rachel has experience working with students with intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, ADHD, behavioral and mental health challenges, and anxiety and depression. She has worked with students on the autism spectrum along with those identified as twice exceptional. Rachel has served as an expert witness in legal proceedings for IEP services and custody determinations.
Rachel earned her Bachelor of Science in Special Education and her Masters in Education in Secondary and Transition from the University of Maryland. She is certified to work with special education students Grade 1-Adulthood while being highly qualified in Severe/Profound Disabilities. She has her Administration and Supervision Certificate from Trinity College. Rachel has been trained in Comprehensive Behavior Management Interventions. She has presented training to school leaders about IEP paperwork systems.
In her spare time, Rachel enjoys travel and spending time with her twins and extended family.
Marcy Jackson has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration and is a Certified Facilitator and Certified Program Planner who has developed education programs for special populations for over 20 years. She is the innovator and past administrator of Maryland’s first Developmental Driver Education Program for teens and transitioning young adults with cognitive and social disabilities and limitations, at Montgomery College, as past Director of the Transportation Safety Institute. She has advocated for youth and young adults with ADHD, Emotional Disabilities, Asperger’s and Intellectual Disabilities, in private, parochial, public and home education settings. Marcy is thoughtful, detailed and strategic.
Marcy is a graduate of the WEG Special Needs Advocacy Institute and past Coordinators for WEG’s Diamonds Conference and School Selection Service. She is an Education Consultant for families with and without special needs, highly effective at performing expert witness and nationwide school comparison evaluations for parents with and without custody factors. She led the development of the WEG-7 Research-based criteria for School Selection and proudly serves as a team member.
Marcy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Towson University and has conducted and published research in Japan on diversity perspectives, a topic for which she continues to raise a voice. She worked in the field of workforce development for 15 years, collaborating with employers, recruiters and counselors who value the soft skill of communication, and job readiness as fundamental workplace skills. Inspired by her eldest son, she co-developed L.I.F.E.-A.C.T. Applied Language Program to encourage young adults with IDD toward self-advocacy and communication in social, education and workplace settings.
Marcy lives with her husband and seven children in Maryland, and enjoys a commitment to educational leadership, advisory board service, WEG-7 school data analysis, and parent education, specifically informing on childhood trauma awareness and differentially educating boys.
Laura is excited to support WEG, families and students as a Special Education Consultant. She is a Spanish-English bilingual school building leader currently based in the metro Washington DC area. In her 12 years of service to the education industry, she has demonstrated success as an early literacy interventionist in diverse elementary settings and as a supervisor of special education in secondary settings.
Laura earned a Master’s of Education in Educational Leadership from The College of New Jersey's Global Education Program in Mallorca, Spain. She is certified in Students with Disabilities (PreK-12), Administration (PreK-12) and Health and Physical Education (PreK-12). Laura has supported students and families in domestic and international schools, at the secondary and elementary levels. She has worked with students and families in Madrid, San Francisco, Shanghai, Dakar, New York City and Shenzhen.
Laura is a certified Orton-Gillingham instructor. She has extensive experience working with English Language Learners, children with Autism, ADHD, dyslexia and emotional disturbances. She is able to support children and parents in a holistic approach, paying special attention to cultural nuances and expectations of individual families.
In her free time, Laura likes to travel with her family, try new restaurants and visit museums and art galleries.
He has been a special education teacher for students with autism, emotional disturbance, and juvenile offenders in both public and private programs. Paul worked for eight years at Sheppard Pratt Health System supervising nine special education schools for students with autism throughout the State of Maryland.
Currently, Paul is an educational consultant for families and school systems in Maryland and Virginia. Paul also serves as a research associate for the University of Maryland in College Park where he teaches courses on autism, classroom management, social communication and supervises graduate students in their practicum placements. Paul has presented at many conferences both nationally and internationally on educating students with disabilities whom exhibit significant behavioral difficulties.
His final years with MCPS were as an elementary school administrator. After his retirement from MCPS, he worked for a time with WEG as a student advocate and conducting workshops on “Racial Representation in Programs for Students with Emotional Disabilities”. He continued, as a part of his pastoral role, to serve as a parent/student advocate with families of students with special needs.
Thomas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Morgan State University. After undergraduate work he served in the field of housing with the Housing Opportunities Commision of Montgomery County for 10 years. As a tenant counselor, his role included working closely with family/community relations and other social agencies including MCPS.
After his transition to MCPS, he was selected by MCPS to enter a pilot Special Education Master's program with Johns Hopkins University. While studying, he was selected to do a presentation on “Selection and Retention of Minorities” at the TED Council for Exceptional Children Conference. He earned his Master of Science degree in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University and an Advanced Certification in Administration with MCPS.
Thomas believes that all students deserve the opportunity to be their very best. He lives in Gaithersburg, MD with his wife and is the father of three and an active grandfather of five. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation, a member of the Black Ministers Conference of Montgomery County and the Afro-American Student Achievement Action Group (AASAAG).
He was also awarded the City of Gaithersburg Black History Month Proclamation for his accomplishments and community service.
She retired from Prince George's County Public Schools after 32 years serving as a special and gifted education teacher, gifted education coordinator, and administrator. She was the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Magnet Coordinator for 11 years from the onset of the magnet program at Glenarden Woods Elementary School, where more than 250 gifted magnet students attended. Subsequently, Helaine worked in the TAG Office where she was a TAG Specialist and then the TAG Supervisor for the whole school system. She has presented at local, state, and national conferences. Helaine is the recipient of a Senate of Maryland Official Citation and a Proclamation from the County Executive for accomplishments in gifted education in 2005 and she received the State Leadership in Gifted and Talented Education Award in the state of Maryland in 2014. She is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers and Who's Who Among America's Women.
In her retirement, Ms. Zinaman is continuing her passion for education and advocating for gifted, twice exceptional, special education, and early childhood students. Helaine is the Executive Director of Maryland Educators for Gifted Students (MEGS), an organization which supports and provides professional development for teachers and administrators working with gifted students. She serves on the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education and is the chair of the Public Awareness sub-committee. Specializing in early childhood, led Helaine to volunteer at Feynman School, a school for bright pre-k through grade 5 students. She has been working with the Weinfeld Education Group, providing services for early childhood, gifted, twice exceptional, learning disabled, and students on the autism spectrum and their parents.
Christie's experience in both the residential and private school sector includes serving as assistant principal, teacher and autism resource specialist, with an emphasis on functional life skills, transition services, and community based instruction.
Christie's teaching methodologies focus on supporting students with low incidence disabilities, including applied behavior analysis, structured teaching, differentiation of instruction, modified curriculums, and positive behavior supports.
A recipient of the Excellence in Education award from the Alexandria Education Partnership, Christie has her Masters in Special Education, with an emphasis on special education and severe social needs.
When not serving her students, Christie enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and rescue dog.
The Supreme Court in the landmark Endrew F. decision of 2017, stated unequivocally, “The IEP must aim to enable the child to make progress. After all, the essential function of an IEP is to set out a plan for pursuing academic and functional advancement.” The Supreme Court went on to explain that parent input is essential, stating, “The Act contemplates that this fact-intensive exercise will be informed not only by the expertise of school officials, but also by the input of the child’s parents or guardians.”
What does this mean for you?
We know that you, parents, want to ensure that your children are making educational and functional progress. However, you often come into IEP/504 meetings feeling overwhelmed, unprepared, and outnumbered. Individualized Education Planning provides you with the information and direction that allows you to become meaningful partners in the process. Our Individualized Education Analysis provides powerful information to share with the school team that shapes the present levels of the IEP/504 and that then informs what will be in the goals, supplementary aids, accommodations, and ultimately will lead to a description of the services and placement to which your child is entitled. The action plan section of the analysis makes it clear what next steps you will take to ensure your child will be progressing towards realizing his or her unique potential.
Books Authored by the IEP Team
Take Control of Asperger's Syndrome: The Official Strategy Guide for Teens with Asperger's Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorder
Authors: Janet Price, Jennifer Engel Fisher
School Success for Kids with ADHD
Authors: Stephan M. Silverman, Ph.D., Jacqueline S. Iseman, Ph.D., Sue Jeweler
101 School Success Tools for Students With ADHD
Authors: Jacqueline S. Iseman, Ph.D., Sue Jeweler, Stephan M. Silverman, Ph.D.
School Success for Kids With High-Functioning Autism
Authors: Stephan M. Silverman, Ph.D., Lauren Kenworthy, Ph.D., Rich Weinfeld