Bright & Quirky Child Summit

Help bright kids thrive, even with learning, social and/or emotional challenges

Session 3: Neuroception: The Missing Link in Helping Our Kids (and Ourselves)

Claire Wilson, MA

Claire Wilson gets it. She gets the anxiety and stress that our children can feel and that WE can feel. And she gets it at a deep level. She takes the work of Stephen Porges and brings the concept of neuroception into everyday language that works for parents and kids. She teaches parents and kids to focus on their body and how it feels. She brings people on a journey of self-awareness and self-empowerment by helping parents, teachers, and kids ask the question, “What would help you feel safer right now?” And this is a question for parents and teachers to ask of themselves, as much as for the children in their care. Her concepts of staying grounded and helping children stay grounded (and learn to keep themselves grounded) will leave you with strategies to use right away.

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Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing the talk? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  1. Gloria Gallardo-Walker on March 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks so much Claire for really helping me see our nervous system. I loved the defining you gave of the 3 main states of our Nervous System. Best strategy you gave me was that of laughing to make ourselves and our kids feel more at ease as I can do that!

  2. Monique Ritter on March 18, 2020 at 4:46 am

    So informative – thanks so much! An exciting journey not just for our kids, but also ourselves. And yes – tuning in all the way from South-Africa where we still have so much to learn – thank you for making this accessible for us. Keep on spreading this ‘new language’ of being.

  3. Mireia on March 17, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    Loved this talk! Thank you, Claire. I completely agree with using humor to shift our nervous system, however the suggestion of putting children funny videos to shift their state seems to me that might go against building trust in real relationships and, instead, cause our child to associate screens with a tool for soothing?
    We know we should provide our kids with healthy tools/ways to find their calm, reduce stress level and shift their NS: nature, arts, pets,… But I am surprised to hear that social engagement through a screen would be a healthy (non addictive) way to shift and feel safer.
    Humour with parents seems to me the best, face to face, with all senses.
    Thank you!

  4. Lisa Bowyer on March 17, 2020 at 7:45 am

    This was a really interesting talk – and so nice to have a speaker in the UK! 🙂

    • Claire on March 17, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      Hey Lisa

      Thank you for your feedback – i’m so glad you found it interesting – and YES!! Its nice to know there were people from the UK watching – I just found out that Hedgehogs aren’t as common in the US as they are for us!!

  5. Fiona on March 17, 2020 at 6:15 am

    I’m struggling to understand what the three states are in terms of the nervous system?

    • Claire on March 17, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      Hi Fiona
      The 3 main states of our NS are
      1. social engagement – we feel safe.
      2. fight/flight mobilisation – we detect there is danger
      3. freeze/shut down immobilisation – we are overwhelmed – life is threatened.
      If you are interseted to know more then you can catch my TEDx talk where i go through it more and with visuals which sometimes makes it easier to get! The link to that talk is on
      Hope that helps.

  6. Sandi on March 16, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    This was great and tunes us into our bodies and away from the struggle that can go on in the mind. This is focusing me back to using and modelling this awareness of when I have anxiety in my body and how my son reacts and reflects this too. I can’t seem to find the grounded adults website? Please add the reference. Thanks

  7. Mariannell on March 16, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve got to be in a good place to help when she’s ready.

  8. Sabrina on March 16, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Loved this talk! I’m one of those people who is hyper-attuned to other people’s nervous systems. I still haven’t figured out how to regulate myself when I’m around other people, like my husband or kids, who are disregulated. I’ve noted your suggestion of using humor and have noticed my husband use it with our girls, with success, at times.

    • Claire Wilson on March 17, 2020 at 2:10 am

      Hi Sabrina
      Thanks for your feedback! You are spot on – regulating ourselves around others can be really tricky. Practicing with yourself alone can help you develop your skill. If you want more ideas and support you’d be welcome to come join me in the membership at

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