Primitive Motor Reflexes & Their Impact on a Child's Function
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
This is a share from Tools To Grow
A Reflex is a stereotyped response to a sensory stimulus. For the purpose of this blog, minimal to moderate motor delays will exclude children with severe deficits in mobility and gross motor functioning. This includes the need for moderate to maximum physical assistance from others to ambulate.
The Primitive Tonic Reflexes appear in infancy and are integrated into normal movement patterns as the infant develops during the first 6-12 months of life. These reflexes are thought to help the infant learn to organize motor behavior. Integration refers to the inhibition by higher centers of neurological control which modify the reflex in such a way that the pattern of response is no longer stereotypical. The reflex does not disappear; it may reactivate under stress or during activities requiring great strength. If these so called primitive reflexes are persistently displayed beyond the expected or typical developmental time period, their presence has been considered an indication that underlying developmental or neurological issues may exist. When these reflexes do not integrate, they may interfere with a child’s development of more advanced motor skills. If such a delay or disruption in motor skills exists, there may be an impairment in the child’s occupational performance.
To read further information on tonic reflexes, their significance if the reflex persists beyond the typical age range, and the possible impact on a child’s functioning and role performance, please click on this link to the original post by Tools To Grow