Puzzled by your child’s varying levels of abilities?
Parents are often concerned when their child excels in some areas of development while struggling with others.
A child may be achieving at a high level in school subjects yet cannot use a knife and fork, or can excel at sport but finds reading difficult. Many are worried by a child’s reluctance to write when they have good language skills and imagination or have irrational meltdowns and aggression when they are generally sensitive and caring.
These confusing patterns relate to the persistence of early brain development that is still active. Each of the above issues relate to different primitive infant reflexes that are present before the baby is born. They should have faded into the background in the baby’s first year but many do not.
The child cannot control it! It is not their fault.
Primitive infant reflexes in the baby
During pregnancy, the baby’s brain development is reliant on these primitive infant reflexes. These are automatic responses that the baby cannot control. They help to move the body and aid the birth process and support survival after birth. If they persist into childhood they limit conscious control.
A few examples of these infant reflexes are:
These provide movement to assist the birth process and move the spine. They also begin the functioning of the kidneys and bladder.
If they persist past babyhood, they can limit conscious control resulting in possible issues with bedwetting, attention, being still, anxiety, co-ordination, sensitivity to textures of clothing and more.
C-section births, fast and assisted births remove or reduce the use of the spinal reflexes in the birth process. So the reflexes often persist.
Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR):
This reflex assists the baby in turning during vaginal delivery. (It may be absent and cause difficulty). It relates to the turn of the head that affects the position of the limbs of the left and right of the body.
If this reflex persists, it can limit midline and crosslateral movement and the processing of information. Issues can occur with complex activities such as reading and physical movements in dance and sport, and result in slow processing and lack of control of the limbs as the head turns.
Other Infant Reflexes:
There are many reflexes that affect fine and gross motor movement, language development, emotional control, fears, co-ordination, scanning, distance and close vision, hand-eye co-ordination, sensory issues, memory, sleep, and anxiety in its many forms – withdrawal, aggression, frustration, controlling behaviour…. and more.
The Role of the BrainChild Developmental Program
At BrainChild, we help the relevant reflexes to integrate. They cease to be active, thus releasing the brain to mature.The neuro-plasticity of the brain allows changes to occur. This the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury.