How Primitive Reflexes Help and What Can Happen If They Are Not Integrated?

Reflex Name

How Does the Reflex Help Children?

What Will Happen if the Reflex is Not Integrated?

Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex

(ATNR)

-Helps develop muscle tone

 

-Provides vestibular stimulation 

 

-Develops balance

 

-Decreases chances of breech birth

 

-Initiates eye hand activities

 

-Helps initiate rolling

 -Birth issues

 

-Delay in motor milestones

 

-Delayed eye-hand skills

 

-Poor midline development

 

-Difficulty crossing midline with  hands and eyes

 

-Difficulty sharing information between right and left hemispheres

 

-Visual-Perceptual difficulties

 

-Difficulty with auditory processing

 

-Poor organization

 

-When reaching, one arm extends, other retracts

 

-One leg left behind during crawling

 

-Turning body while drawing/writing

 

-Not spontaneously using non-dominant hand to assist

 

Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex

(STNR)

 -Emerges at 6-9 months

 

-Allows child to defy gravity and assume quadruped (on all four’s like a dog)

 

-Integrated as child begins to crawl

 

-Job is to disassociate Upper extremities from lower extremities.

 

-Integrated when rocking back and forth on hands and knees

 -“W” sitting (this position inhibits STNR) 

 

-Poor posture

 

-Hands in pocket

 

-Bunny hop instead of crawl

 

-Difficulty sitting still

 

-Falls out of chair

 

-Clumsy

 

-Poor balance

 

-Not into sports because can’t rely on body

 

-Behavior problems

 

-Poor eye hand coordination

 

-Difficulty copying

 

-Difficulty sitting for fine motor activities

 

Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR)

 -A response to gravity: Movement of head above the spine: extension. Movement of the head below the spine: flexion.

 

-A “bridge” between Landau and STNR

 

-If Moro reflex isn’t integrated, TLR probably won’t be either.

 Flexor TLR:

 

 

-Slouched posture

 

-Low muscle tone

 

-Dislike of physical activity

 

-Oculomotor difficulties

 

-Stuck in flexion

 

-Difficulty with directionality/spatial tasks

 

Extensor TLR:

 

-Toe walking

 

-High muscle tone

 

-Dislike of physical activity

 

-Oculomotor and vestibular difficulties

 

-Tuck in extension

 

-Poor organizational skills

 

-Motion sickness

 

Moro Reflex 

 -Involuntary reaction to threat

 

-Fight or flight

 

-Startle

 

-Symmetrical movement of arms upward with open hands, short freeze, then slow return to hand clasp in front of body, cry

 

-Triggers-unexpected noise, unexpected touch, pain, temp change, rough handling, light touch, bright light

 

-Functional implications- Motion sickness, poor balance/coordination, delayed equilibrium & righting responses, auditory hypersensitivity, poor auditory discrimination, difficulty with transitions, hypersensitivity may be seen in only one sense

 

-Global manifestation- Anxiety (dislike change or surprise), Allergies,

 

lowered immunity, ear infection, excessive reaction to typical routine stimulation, parents walk on eggshells to keep the world right for their kids, need to control, manipulate events, insecurity, dependency, poor stamina, low self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, "glued" to mom or teacher, sedentary.

 

Galant Reflex

-Thought to take an active part in birthing process by stimulating lumbar region causing rotational movement of hips.

 Under developed:

 

-Contributes to hyper-tonus

 

-Strong ATNR and STNR

 

-Impeded cross patterns for crawling and creeping

 

When retained:

 

-Fidgeting

 

-Bed Wetting

 

-Poor concentration and short term memory

 

-Hip rotation to one side when walking

 

-Child may only wear sweatpants (worn low) to avoid stimulation of lumbar region.