Primitive reflexes are essential for the baby’s survival in the first few weeks of life. These primitive infant reflexes are repetitive, automatic movements that are essential for the development of head control, muscle tone, and sensory integration and development.

They lay the foundation for postural life long reflexes to develop. They appear in the womb and early infancy and should only have a limited life span. Having done the job of helping the baby survive in the early months they should be inhibited and controlled by the higher centres of the brain. If they remain active beyond 6 – 12 months of age it is likely that they may cause immature patterns of behaviour and challenges with gross and fine muscle co-ordination, balance, attention, expression and sensory perception. The presence of an immature reflex may cause the child to have involuntary movements which interfere with the child gaining control over the body and may lead to academic difficulties. The fundamental basis for learning may be faulty or inefficient despite the child’s level of intelligence.

  • Primitive Reflexes need to:
  • Activate or emerge to begin the process of ‘doing their job’
  • Develop for their intended purpose
  • Integrate into the system within the first 12 months of life only if they have successfully completed the job they were designed to do.

Addressing these primitive reflexes is important if your child is to reach his or her academic potential.