Parents of children with autism are on a constant quest to discover all they can to improve the behavior, speech, cognitive function and general health of their children. However, in the midst of their ever-escalating activities and pursuits, they need to stop once in a while and take care of themselves.

When I joined four of the top medical experts in the biomedical field (Drs Stephanie Cave, Liz Mumper, Nancy O’Hara and Julie Buckley) for a weekend last year after Julie Buckley (a pediatrician and mother of a child with autism) developed breast cancer, it wasn’t to compare power points or fill each other in on the latest research, it was to stop and acknowledge that with Julie’s diagnosis and surgery, the early passing of Jo Pike and the general high level of stress and illness in the autism community, something needed to shift.

The concept that was born out of the five of us coming together for that weekend was not only our new name (sisters in science, spirit and spunk), but a new model of education, hope and rejuvenation we call Your Healing Retreat. Yes, all four of these docs (and I) realized that in addition to fulfilling our mutual desire to teach physicians and parents methods for improving children’s health and behavior, we also wanted to address the very real needs of the caregivers.

So, instead of doing what we had always done and renting a hotel where we would breathe re circulated air, eat processed food and ask every researcher and clinician we knew to present, we decided to do something more in alignment with our new vision. We searched for a serene, resort-type setting and found such a place in North Carolina. The Kanuga Conference Center has hiking trails, a beautiful lake, 100 year old cottages with fireplaces and to add some proverbial icing on the cake, we decided to serve healthy, local and organic food.

Yes, there will be lectures on mitochondrial dysfunction, immune dysregulation, and GI distress as well as talks for parents and primary care providers on practical solutions for reversing and repairing these conditions. But there will also be a lakeside wine reception, massage, yoga and dance sessions in the morning, whole food cooking classes, workshops on toxin-free dentistry and ways to create a healthy home or office, sessions on stress management, healing relationships and meditation as well as a chance to sample low pressure hyperbarics.

Will parents and clinicians learn cutting edge treatment strategies to help their children heal? Absolutely! But in addition, those who come to the healing retreat will leave feeling rejuvenated by both new perspectives on, and practical tools for, achieving healthier more balanced lifestyles.

Spring is a time of renewal and Your Healing Retreat is an opportunity to experience a new model of learning and healing… Press that REFRESH button and register today!

Register at a discounted rate for the month of April at

The sisters will not let finances get in the way of parents and clinicians attending. Any questions call or email Maureen McDonnell, RN or call 609-240-1315 and we will assist you!

Top 3 Reasons to Register for Your Healing Retreat (and Bring a Clinician)

  1. Four of the best and most experienced medical doctors from the biomedical treatment community (Stephanie Cave, MD, Liz Mumper, MD, Nancy O’Hara, MD and Julie Buckley, MD) have collaborated to continue the much needed service of training physicians, nurse practitioners, Physician’s Assistants and other primary care providers on the biomedical approach to treating autism.
  2. We desperately need “well-trained” clinicians to partner with parents to address the medical conditions that are associated with autism and ADD. Parents will receive a $50.00 discount off of registration for the month of April and another $50.00 off for simply getting a physician or other primary care provider to register.
  3. The stress level that parents of kids with autism experience is enormous. To address this issue (that is taking a hefty toll on our community), we have created a new model of education and rejuvenation. In addition to lectures, there will be workshops on stress management, whole food cooking and yoga. Healthy organic meals will be served. Massage will be provided, HBOT will be available and there will be a lakeside wine reception. Parents and clinicians should take this opportunity to care for themselves so that they can continue to care for the children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *