From Assessment to Advocacy: Understanding and Using Assessment Information to Advocate Effectively for the Needs of Neurodiverse Youth


Friday, March 1 - 9:00 am - 12:15 pm
Location: Chesapeake College, Rm 127 Health Professions and Athletics Center
1000 College Cir, Wye Mills, MD

Workshop Instructional Level: All Levels
*3 CE credits available to psychologists and other eligible professionals*


Join us for an exceptional workshop delivered by Dr. Laurie Reider Lewis and Mr. Rich Weinfeld. Lewis and Weinfeld have combined their extensive experience in testing and special education to empower area professionals as well as families in support of neurodiverse youth.

Workshop Description:

For psychologists and other mental and behavioral health professionals, families, educators, case managers, and advocates or legal personnel who work with youth, the process of determining when, why, and how best to proceed with formal evaluation on a youth’s behalf can be complex. What are the essential components of a strong clinical (psychoeducational, neuropsychological, psychological) assessment? In addition, once an evaluation is completed, how can information gleaned from that process be used to engage in effective academic and behavioral health planning and advocacy? This workshop will bring clarity to the testing and special education process by providing concrete information about the elements of “good” assessment as well as how to use assessment findings to powerfully advocate for the needs of youth. Attendees will also gain a deeper understanding of issues around neurodiversity and the differences among youth which are critical to effectual assessment and advocacy work.

This workshop is designed to help you to:
1. Decide when independent psychological, neuropsychological, or psychoeducational evaluation is warranted for an individual youth.
2. Formulate detailed, targeted referral questions when initiating the assessment process.
3. Define the concept of neurodiversity and list the key elements of a high-quality assessment that is sensitive to issues of neurodiversity which results in appropriate special education programming for neurodiverse youth.
4. Identify the key steps of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.
5. Explain how each point of the IEP process is crucial for the development of appropriate special education programming for neurodiverse youth.
6. Describe the outcome of the Supreme Court decision, “Endrew F.,” and its implications for the education of neurodiverse youth.
7. Utilize evaluation findings to shape highly effective academic and behavioral health plans for neurodiverse youth.

About the Presenters:
Laurie Reider Lewis, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist and member of the Maryland Psychological Association who is currently in private practice on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University, and completed a pre-doctoral child psychology internship with specialties in mood and anxiety disorders and school-based mental health through the Department of Psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Her practice is dedicated to providing comprehensive psychotherapy, assessment, and consultation services to youth, families, schools, and other local organizations such as the Department of Social Services. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Dr. Lewis taught in elementary and middle schools, and she holds a Master’s degree in Education from the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University.

Mr. Richard Weinfeld directs the Weinfeld Education Group, LLC, a group of over 25 educational consultants, serving clients in Maryland (including the Eastern Shore), Washington DC, and Virginia. He also provides direct special education consultation services to families of students with special needs. Mr. Weinfeld worked for 30 years in the Montgomery County Public Schools (26 years in special ed), holding various leadership roles in special education, including one as the first full-time coordinator of the program for students who are simultaneously learning disabled and gifted (twice exceptional). His expertise is in working with students with a wide range of disabilities including learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and emotional disabilities. Mr. Weinfeld has authored numerous books on a variety of special education topics, presents widely at national conferences, has instructed at Johns Hopkins University, and sits on various educational and advisory boards.

Additional Workshop Details:

  • This program is co-sponsored by the Maryland Psychological Association, The Maryland Psychological Association Foundation, Shore Psychology, The Weinfeld Education Group, and Wye River Upper School. The Maryland Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. The Maryland Psychological Association maintains responsibility for the program and its content. 3 CE Credits are available for eligible participants of this workshop;
  • MPA, Shore Psychology, The Weinfeld Education Group, and Wye River Upper School strive to ensure that no potential participant with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated differently from other individuals attending any MPA sponsored CE workshop. If you require special accommodations in order to fully participate in this program, please contact Dr. Laurie Reider Lewis at 443-262-5804,, at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled program to discuss your needs;
  • On-site registration and check-in begins at 8:30 am on the day of the workshop;
  • Light snacks and beverages will be served prior to the start of the workshop and mid-way through the workshop during the break;
  • Cancellation Policy: In all cases of cancellation written notice must be sent via email to or to A full refund is available up to one week prior to the workshop date. No refund thereafter, except in the case of personal or family illness or cancellation by the workshop presenters.