Primitive Reflexes
Primitive reflexes should be present at birth as they are essential for the child's survival during the first few months of life and provide the basis for many later voluntary skills. Primitive reflexes should slowly be inhibited during the first year of life and be replaced by lifelong Postural reflexes. Remaining primitive reflexes (and/or absence of postural reflexes) will indicate the level of maturity of the central nervous system. If primitive reflexes are present after the first year of life they are said to be aberrant and can affect all areas of functioning.

Click on the tabs to view each item
Moro Reflex
It is approximately inhibited at 16 weeks after birth and should not continue after one year of life. This is the baby's flight/fight response. If it remains aberrant the person will lead a life of continuous activation. It involves three distinct phases, namely, the spreading of the arms, neck and body backwards; then the closure of posture; and then crying. Both absence and persistence of it is an indication of neurological immaturity.
Rooting Reflex
The rooting and sucking reflex work together. This is an uncontrolled reflex to assist the baby in feeding and finding the object of feeding. Touching the mouth area or cheeks may result in the head turing and lips getting ready to suck. Where it is still retained the child may be fearful of separation, having speech difficulties, or biting objects while concentrating. If retained the child may not be able to engage multiple modes of learning at the same time.
The ATNR (Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex) is inhibited approximately at 6-8 months in normal development in the waking state. Its is seen in the extension of the arm and leg on the same side as the direction in which the head turns. The opposite side of the limbs will bend. If retained it may lead to problems with visual tracking, balance, discrepancy between written and oral work, etc.
The STNR (Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex) emerges at around 8-11 months and inhibited at about 1 year. It has a very short lifespan. The lower body move moves separately and alternately against each other. If retained the child's muscle tone can be affected, have a weakened body posture and have poor hand-eye coordination, etc.
The TLR (Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex) has a flexion and extension phase and should be inhibited respectively at approximately 4 months and 3,5 years. Bending the neck towards the chest moves the child into a foetal position. When the neck is extended the back stiffens and arms and hands bend; toes point. If aberrant the child may have motion sickness, walk on toes, have spatial and orientation difficulties, etc.
Spinal Galant Reflex
This reflex usually is inhibited by 3-9 months. If retained it will affect gait position and be responsible for bedwetting beyond the age of 5, inability to sit still, poor concentration, and poor digestive issues, etc.
Postural Reflexes (Replace the Primitive Reflexes and remains for life)
Occulo-Head Righting Reflex
This is the ability of the head to correct its position when the body tilts with the eyes open.
Labyrinthine-Head Righting Reflex
This is the ability of the head to correct its position when the body tilts with the eyes closed.

Beware of misinformation. For more information on Covid-19 visit the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (click) website


General Information