Retained reflexes

What are retained primitive reflexes?

Primitive (or neonatal) reflexes are reflexes which occur naturally in babies. They are automatic responses of the baby’s nervous system that assist with the birth process, allow baby to breastfeed, grip objects and eventually learn to crawl – among other things.

As baby gets older these reflexes are no longer needed in this immature form and the higher brain centres take over more control. This higher brain control allows the child to perform the more complex tasks involved in classroom learning, movement control and social interactions. Sometimes however, primitive reflexes may be retained, resulting in a nervous system which reacts inappropriately in certain situations. This can adversely affect a child’s development, learning and behaviour.

How do you know if your child has retained primitive reflexes?

There are a series of questions and simple tests that can be carried out at home.

On reading about retained primitive reflexes many parents recognise some of the characteristic signs of one or more of the reflexes in their child.

If you have any questions about retained primitive reflexes please contact us at the clinic.