Reflexes are defined as involuntary and arguably instantaneous movements in response to specific stimuli. Eg. take the patellae reflex, when the Dr taps your knee ligament your quad contracts automatically, and your knee shoots out - this is not under voluntary control.
Some of these reflexes are seen in particular age groups and disappear at identified times during one’s lifetime. These reflexes which are normally present in early life and disappear as one grows are the primitive reflexes.
Here at Little Sprouts we have a particular interest in the implication of their
impact on learning and development.
According to authorities in pediatric neurology, the reflexes are fashioned as part of the developmental process to develop specific brain circuits for important purposes. The development of what we have as the day-to-day movement activity is driven by the primitive reflexes (1). As a matter of principle, primitive reflexes are thought to have a developmental role since they are supposed to help the young one to perform activities such as movement against gravity as they are incorporated within the first few months of life. That is especially true for walking and crawling.
Moreover, children who have retained primitive reflexes tend to exhibit some elements of social and even educational dysfunction. Their psychological development is modestly incapacitated hence they may show altered psycho-motor development (1) which is essentially the thought origin of movement from the brain controlling the actual moment.
Another study found that Inhibition of primitive reflexes, especially those involving the hands and the mouth has a significant role in the normal development of motor and expressional movements (2).
Stay tuned next week for how some of these primitive reflexes can be related to disorders of other disorders (eg ADHD) and we will also post some videos in the coming weeks about how to test for primitive reflexes.
If you would like your or your children's primitive reflexes assessed call our practice now.
BONUS for reading this blog - Because we love getting out into our community if you would like one of our Drs to come and talk to a group of Teachers or Parents about how to test and identify primitive reflexes please contact our practice. Normally $550 per talk - FREE if you mention this blog. We love getting out into our community!! (note - based on availability)