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Movement Programme

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Primitive Reflexes

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Primitive Reflexes -

How is that first year of life linked to my child's difficulties?

Each one of us is born with a set of primitive reflexes (sometimes known as survival reflexes), which should be controlled by a higher part of the brain during the first year of life.

If these are not fully integrated during infancy, control of voluntary, skilled and complex movements can be affected. Retained primitive reflexes may impede motor control, eye functioning, eye-hand co-ordination and perceptual skills.

Symptoms may include problems with balance such as motion sickness and learning to ride a bicycle; co-ordination difficulties such as learning to tie shoelaces, do up buttons, run easily and learning to swim. Eye movements necessary for reading and hand-eye co-ordination necessary for writing can also be affected.

Frustration, hyperactivity and hypersensitivity may be further symptoms, as the child finds it difficult to perform daily tasks to his true level of potential, while to all outward appearances he is perfectly normal.

If the physical nature of these difficulties is not identified and addressed, it can lead to stress and emotional problems later on. It can also interfere with concentration and short term memory.