Each child is born with a set of primitive reflexes (also known as survival reflexes) which should be inhibited or controlled by the higher brain during the first year of life.
If these reflexes are not suppressed in the first year they can interfere with motor development, visual functioning needed for reading, eye-hand coordination needed for writing and perceptual skills. They can provide evidence of immaturity in how the Central Nervous System is working and can act as barriers to learning. They can also lead to behavioural problems such as frustration, difficulty concentrating, poor impulse control and under-achievement.
This programme can offer a drug-free and non-invasive treatment which can help children overcome these problems and give them the tools to succeed.
Primitive reflexes emerge in the womb, should be present in the full term baby and are gradually inhibited by the developing brain in the first year of life. They are transformed into more mature reactions as connections to higher brain centres develop. Examples of primitive reflexes include the infant suck, rooting, palmar grasp and tonic neck reflexes, all of which aid survival.
Postural reflexes appear in the first weeks after birth and continue to develop up to 3 and a half years of age. This second set of reflexes support balance and coordination in an upright position. They allow for automatic control of the body and voluntary movement, freeing the brain for higher-order functioning.
Examples of postural reflexes include the head righting, amphibian and segmental rolling reflexes.
Neuro Motor Immaturity
This is defined by the presence of a cluster of retained primitive reflexes beyond 6-12 months of age and the underdevelopment of postural reflexes in a child beyond 3 and a half years of age.
The typical progression from primitive to postural reflexes suggests motor maturity in the Central Nervous System.
Atypical development of these reflex patterns may suggest motor developmental delay. Abnormal reflexes have also been documented as playing a part in specific learning difficulties and immature behaviour.
There is a growing body of evidence correlating immature motor skills and lower educational performance.
His reading has improved a lot, he can now blend sounds together and read with more fluency. The school reported that he is now more eager to learn and has confidence has improved so much.
Mother of a 7-year-old boy.