Languages Department
Learning Differences Conference 2013


Professor of Special Education
The George Washington University, Washington DC

Michael Castleberry, Ed.D., is Professor of Special Education at the George Washington University, Washington DC.  He has been at the university since 1971 working first in undergraduate special education and, since 1974, in post-graduate and doctoral education.  During his career he has seen the advance of assessment and programming for special needs populations, spurred by the 1975 PL-94142 that guaranteed rights to children and parents for access to education services; he has also seen the backlash to the provision of services as costs and lack of qualified personnel caused significant educational and legal complications.  The result of this backlash was a dramatic increase in inclusion programs, noble for the intent of servicing special needs children in regular settings but often resulting in a lack of individual programming for the child with a different learning need.

Despite advances in curriculum development, from both an instructional as well as a theoretical framework, e.g. Phonographix as a reading approach, Differentiated Instruction as a theoretical approach, the march toward national assessments as the only indicator of instructional gains in U.S. schools has greatly slowed the ability to provide instruction that works for a specific child.  Dr. Castleberry’s work and presentations have focused on these themes for the past two decades.  His work has taken him to four continents and he remains committed to children and families who require more specialized educational approaches in order for the child to be successful.


Assistant Director of Outreach & Prevention
The George Washington University, Washington, DC

Imran Riaz, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist practicing in Washington, DC.  He has worked with educators and parents of children with learning disorders for the past six years.  Dr. Riaz brings his background in psychology and knowledge of memory and cognition, to the assessment of learning disorders and consultation in designing effective learning environments for children and adolescents.

He currently serves as Assistant Director of Outreach & Prevention at The George Washington University Counseling Center (GWU) where he is responsible for health promotion for the campus.  Before joining GWU, he served as the staff psychologist at The Summit School, a private school with a mission to teach children who learn differently.  He received his doctoral and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Spalding University, and his bachelor in science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

In addition to conducting psychological and educational assessments for children and adolescents, Dr. Riaz teaches at the college level, holding an adjunct faculty position at both The George Washington University and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology-DC Campus.  His areas of interest are in memory, cognition, and learning, and utilizing psychological principles to promote health and well-being.