Today I’d like to talk about residual primitive reflexes and how they impact ADHD and other neurological challenges. Almost 100 percent of the kids I see test positive for certain primary reflexes, when these reflexes should be no longer developmentally appropriate.
So, what are they?
Primitive reflexes, or infantile reflexes, begin developing from the time the child is in the mother’s womb. They are repetitive, involuntary or automatic movements in response to stimuli that are essential for development of head control, muscle tone, sensory integration and overall development. They’re necessary to protect the fetus, aid the birthing process and contribute later to mature postural reflexes.
As the baby grows, ideally these primitive reflexes will no longer be active. The practice of these movements do their intended job and movements become more controlled and voluntary. Basically, they should disappear when they are no longer needed. However, if primitive reflexes are still present at a certain age, it can be a sign of nervous system damage or brain damage.
A Quote from MedLinePlus:
“Absent or abnormal reflexes in an infant, persistence of a reflex past the age where the reflex is normally lost, or redevelopment of an infantile reflex in an older child or adult may suggest significant central nervous system, nerve trunk, or peripheral nerve problems.”
I’ve found that there is a lot of interest and new research surrounding this relationship between neuro-developmental disorders like Aspergers or ADHD and the retention of developmentally inappropriate primitive reflexes.
Throughout the next couple weeks, I’d like to introduce some of the major primitive reflexes and assigned exercises that I can do for your child, using such methods as Quantum Reflex Integration and Rhythmic Movement Training. Stay tuned!