Developmental Delay


sleeping baby in ATNR positionThe human child takes a long time to develop into an adult.

The immaturity of the brain at birth sees rapid development in the first few months and years of life. If this doesn’t happen it is known as developmental delay.There are norms that exist that show the steps in the maturation process. These follow an order, for example, a baby sits before walking. If these become out of order or stages are omitted, such as crawling, it can affect progress.

The development of a child relies on the maturation of their brain. The newborn infant is relatively helpless. It is able to function in its new world with the help of infant reflexes.

Infant reflex influences

These cause automatic responses. For example:

  • The rooting and sucking reflexes help the baby to find food and suckle.
  • The spinal reflexes help the baby to process waste by starting the functioning of the kidneys and bladder. They also assist the birth process by helping the baby to wriggle during each contraction.
  • The Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) assists in the turning of the baby during delivery.
  • The Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) exercises the muscle and joints.
  • The 3 reflexes on the hands provide a reflex response to help the baby grip onto his/her mother and stimulate suckling.

​These reflexes are vital for the newborn. But they become redundant as a child gets older. They should fade into the background, mostly by the end of the first year of life.  The persistence of these infant reflexes limits brain maturation. Because there are many  reflexes, all with specific functions, there are also many combinations of limitations possible. This results in developmental delay. It shows in the wide range of developmental disorders and can affect all aspects of functioning.

Birth by C-section, or an assisted or fast delivery can influence parts of this natural process.

There are many children with features of developmental delay who do not have a diagnosis but are struggling to cope in mainstream education and life in general. There is limited recognition of this fact.

Developmental diagnoses

ASD, ADD, ADHD, communication disorders, coordination disorders, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Tourettes, attachment disorder, conduct disorder, learning disorder and many more are labels for developmental disorders.

If there is a delay in the integration of these infant reflexes the child will not develop full conscious control. In most of these children this is a dysfunction rather than the result of damage to the brain. So the infant reflexes can be assisted to “disappear into the background.”

The Brainchild Developmental Program helps you to help your child to integrate these reflexes to allow their brain to mature.

Developmental delays

Eating Issues

Autistic Spectrum Disorder