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Primitive Reflexes are the first part of the brain to develop and should only remain active for the first few months of life. In typical development, these reflexes naturally inhibit in sequential order during the first year, and replacement reflexes, called postural reflexes, emerge. Postural reflexes are more mature patterns of response that control balance, coordination and sensory motor development.
Retained primitive reflexes can lead to developmental delays related to disorders like ADHD, sensory processing disorder, autism, and learning disabilities. The persistence of primitive reflexes contribute to issues such as coordination, balance, sensory perceptions, fine motor skills, sleep, immunity, energy levels, impulse control, concentration and all levels of social, emotional, and academic learning.
Causes of Retained Primitive Reflexes
Retention of primitive reflexes can be caused by a variety of factors. The birth process is a key factor in the integration of these reflexes. Therefore a traumatic birth experience or birth by c-section may lead to retained reflexes. Additional causes can include: falls, traumas, lack of tummy time, delayed or skipped creeping or crawling, chronic ear infections, head trauma and vertebral subluxations.