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Primitive Reflexes are the special reflexes that develop in the brain stem before birth. This set of involuntary Primitive Reflexes helps the baby with positioning in the womb, birthing, breathing, feeding, urination, etc. Most of these primitive reflexes go away throughout the first year of life as higher functions of the brain and muscle control develop.

Because Primitive Reflexes start at the base of the brain. Functions that try to develop above them do not wire properly. It can cause or contribute to:

If the reflexes remain, they interfere with the neurological organization of the brain, which causes learning, behavioral, social, sensory and health problems. These remaining re- flexes are unnoticed muscle movements in older children and adults that would not normally be noticed if one did not know what to look for. They cause ongoing issues until they are solved through exercises.

Symptoms when Primitive Reflexes Remain:

  • Autism
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Aspersers
  • Hemispheric Imbalance
  • Sensory Disorders
  • Hyper Activity
  • ADHD
  • Speech Disorders
  • Social Disorders
  • Asthma and other immune problems
  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyscalculia


1) Moro reflex: (integrates at 4m post natal)
– Visual, vestibular, auditory, seating, standing
Signs & symptoms:

  • Easily distracted
  • Hypersensitive to sensory stimuli like light, sound and touch
  • Over sensitivity to motion causing car sickness
  • Overreacts
  • Impulsive and aggressive or hyperactive
  • Emotional immaturity
  • Difficulty making friends
  • Depression
  • Anger or emotional outbursts
  • Poor balance and coordination

2) Palmar reflex: (integrates: 3-6 months post natal)

Sign & symptoms:

  • Poor fine motor skills
  • Difficulty playing musical instruments
  • Slump posture when using hands
  • Messy handwriting and poor pencil grip
  • Sticks tongue out when using hands
  • Dysgraphia
  • Speech and language problems

3) Tonic labyrinthine reflex: (integrates at 10-12 months post natal)

  • Poor balance
  • Muscle tone issues
  • Poor posture
  • Difficulty paying attention when head is down (at a desk or reading)
  • Dyspraxia
  • Poor Accommodation and Vergence
  • Gets motion sickness easily
  • Prefers to walk on toes
  • Speech and auditory difficulty
  • Spatial issues
  • Bumps into things and people more than normal

4) Asymmetric tonic neck reflex: (integrates at 6 months postnatal)

Sign & symptoms:

  • Eye- hand coordination problems
  • Awkward walk or gait
  • Difficulty in school
  • Immature handwriting
  • Difficulty in sports
  • Saccades and Pursuits
  • Poor balance
  • Eye, ear, foot, and hand dominance will not be on the same side
  • Difficulty in things that require crossing over the midline of the body
  • Poor depth perception
  • Ocular motility disorder

5) Symmetrical tonic neck reflex: (integrates at 9-11 months postnatal)

Sign & symptoms:

  • poor posture
  • Low muscle tone
  • Vision and tracking problems
  • Difficulty learning to swim
  • Problems looking between near and far sighted objects, like copying from a chalkboard

6) Spinal gallant reflex: (integrates at 3-9 months postnatal)

Sign & symptoms:

  • poor concentration and attention problems
  • Bedwetting
  • Short term memory issues
  • Delayed visual information processing
  • Poor visual perceptual skills
  • Reduced seating tolerance in one place
  • Fidgeting and wiggly movements
  • Posture problems
  • Hip rotation on one side/possibly scoliosis

Therefore at Caring Vision Therapy Centre we use to integrate primitive reflex therapies along with routine vision therapy procedures that play an important role in the overall treatment plan and positive outcome for patients.

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