About the Happy Mama Retreat

Our retreat started as a collaboration of three special needs mamas in 2012, simply because we longed to get together in person with the other mamas who made up our support online. It was a success right from the start, and has been held annually each year.

Penny Williams

Retreat Co-Founder & Coordinator. Parenting Mentor. Award-Winning Author. 

Penny was thrust into the all-consuming world of parenting a special needs child when her son, then six, was diagnosed with ADHD in the Fall of 2008. Through the years since, they have discovered additional diagnoses including Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Dysgraphia, Written Expression Disorder, significant Executive Functioning delays, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Penny currently writes for ADDitude Magazine, the #1 national publication dedicated to ADHD, and other various parenting and special needs publications.

Penny has published three award-winning books on ADHD — Boy Without Instructions, and What to Expect When Parenting Children with ADHD, and The Insider’s Guide to ADHD. She also teaches online courses and offers parent coaching for those raising kids with ADHD and/or autism.

She is currently the sole planner and coordinator of the Happy Mama Retreat.


Adrienne Bashista, Amy Coffey, and Penny Williams decided to start a retreat for mamas of kids with invisible special needs.

2012 Happy Mama Retreat
Rock Barn Golf & Spa
Conover, North Carolina
July 28-29, 2012

2013 Happy Mama Retreat

Embassy Suites Brier Creek
Raleigh, North Carolina
July 12-14, 2013

2014 Happy Mama Retreat

July 25-27, 2014
Washington Duke Inn
Duke University campus in Durham, NC

2015 Retreat

May 22-24, 2015
Asheville, NC

2016 Retreat

May 2016
Asheville, NC

2017 Retreat

May 5-7, 2017
Asheville, NC