#124 Jessica Sinarski Helping Kids Understand Big Feelings

fasd success show Sep 17, 2022

Caregivers ask me all the time … how can I teach my loved ones skills to soothe themselves, stop a meltdown, or regulate themselves. Understanding the sensory system is key to answering those questions and you can get some ideas on how to do that with my guest this week, Jessica Sinarski. We first met Jessica in episode #099, Insight on Trauma, Attachment, and Sensory Systems. She returns to talk about her upcoming book aimed at normalizing sensory processing differences and helping kids understand their sensory systems.

Jessica Sinarski is a highly sought-after therapist, speaker, and change-maker. Extensive post-graduate training and 15+ years as a clinician and educator led her to create the resource and training platform–BraveBrains. She makes brain science practical, helping parents and professionals become healers for hurting children. She is the author of the award-winning Riley the Brave series, Hello, Anger, and more.

I was actually working on a book for parents and one theme that kept coming up was how kids’ primal defenses come out and it looks like a tiger, it looks like a porcupine, or it feels to the parent like they are curled up in their turtle shell and you can’t get in. That is really painful for parents, teachers, and counselors.

Jessica didn’t start with an intent to serve children, but it soon became clear to her that she could walk alongside the parents and caregivers while also helping children understand. We talk about that shift in perspective, how she developed Riley the Brave, as well as:

  • Why stories are effective as teaching tools
  • How this book helps both children and the adults who support them
  • What the sensory systems are and why she chose this as a topic

I feel like when everybody knows about the brain, trauma and resilience, the world will be a better place. I want to take the shame out. Let’s deal with the bodies and brains in the room in a strengths-based way.

While this book isn’t about kids with FASD, it is a book that will help kids with FASD and their parents and caregivers. The book description states Riley the Brave is a little bear with big feelings. It is hard for Riley to focus and have fun when he is feeling so many confusing sensations. He has porcupine moments, turtle moments, and even tiger moments roaring at his teacher! This book teaches children about their senses through a playful story with real-life strategies for emotion regulation. An educational afterward for grown-ups includes tips for helping the brave cubs in your life.

I think you will find Jessica has taken a subject that even some adults don’t understand and put it in a format that will reach kids and their parents. Be sure to check out the Show Notes to for links to order a copy and follow Jessica.


Show Notes:

Website and Book Orders: Feelings Book | Riley the Brave

Follow Jessica on Instagram: Jessica Sinarski, LPCMH (@jessicasinarski)

Check out our Facebook Page: FASD Caregiver Success

Join our Facebook Group: FASD Caregiver Success Group

Follow me on Twitter: @JeffjNoble

Support the show: Buy Me A Coffee


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