Primitive Reflexes: Part Two

Sep 23 , 2017

Primitive Reflexes: Part Two

Reflex Name Palmar Grasp Reflex Spinal Galant Reflex Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex Moro Reflex or “Startle” Reflex
Age reflex appears and then disappears Appears around 16 weeks in utero and remains until 5-6 months of age Develops in utero and remains until 9 months of age Develops in utero and remains until 4 months of age Develops in utero at 9-12 weeks and remains until 4 months of age
Definition of reflex When pressure is applied to the infant’s palm, infant should close fist and open mouth When the lower back is stroked next to the spine, the infant will curve their hip outward (lateral trunk flexion) This reflex has two forms. FORWARD: as the head bends forward, the whole body, arms, legs, and torso curl inward in the characteristic fetal position. BACKWARD: as the head bends backwards, the whole body will straighten and extend When a sudden change in sensory stimuli occurs, the infant’s arms and legs open upward and away from the body, rapidly. These movements are often followed by a quick breath, then a freezing of the arms and legs in the outward position
Purpose of the reflex Helps infant coordinate movements involving grasp and the mouth, such as feeding Encourages movement and develops range of motion in hips in preparation for walking and crawling Provides infant with important information about gravity and helps infant master head and neck movement Elicits a quick response to a perceived threat that awakens the infant’s survival system
Possible effects if reflex is unintegrated Poor fine motor skills, tension of the jaw, speech delay, drooling, swallowing problems Inability to sit still, bed wetting, hip rotation to one side, scoliosis, hyperactivity Shrunken posture, balance and coordination problems, toe walking, motion sickness Sleep disturbances, difficulty catching a ball, poor stamina, motion sickness

**Not all possible effects of unintegrated reflexes are included above.


If you are concerned that you or your child may have unintegrated reflexes, please contact an Occupational Therapist or other professional trained to address unintegrated reflexes.


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Reflexes Part Two