We at the Learning Center have been fortunate to receive training in primitive reflexes using various methods.
Being able to evaluate primitive reflexes allows us to create plans to compliment and include in our vision therapy.
What are primitive reflexes?
Primitive reflexes are automatic, stereotyped movements, directed from the brain stem and executed without cortical involvement.
– Goddard, Sally. Reflexes, Learning and Behavior, A Window into
the Child’s Mind. Eugene,Oregon: Fern Ridge Press. 2005. Print.
Reflexes are important in vitro , the birthing process and the developmental stages. They will integrate by certain movement patterns that babies, toddlers and children do during the important developmental stages.
Picture yourself walking down the street and you turn the corner, to your surprise there is a person standing there.
Do you jump back , hold your breath and keep on walking while your heart continues to race? , or, Do you jump back , take a deep breath and continue walking like you had before?
If your reaction was the first then you might have the Moro reflex retained.
The Moro reflex is a reaction to what is seen as a threat, if retained, recovery will not be quick enough to be able to move on or to learn something new in an optimal manner.
When a patient shows a physical response such as frustration, anger, tears or fear when there is a sudden movement or change of light in the visual field, then it is important for us to assess and include exercises to integrate the Moro reflex. Some exercise that can be done are starfish, prayer pose, hook-ups or hug the yoga ball among others. These exercises are done in office therapy as well as home therapy. It is suggested that they be done on a daily basis for at least six to nine months and in some cases even more time if necessary .
According to Sally Goddard, “Primitive reflexes lay the foundation for all later functioning, then it is the postural reflexes which form the framework within which other systems can operate effectively…..There are no set times at which the later reflex asserts control over the earlier one, but it is a gradual process of interplay and integration which both reflexes operate together for a short time.”
Primitive reflexes build on each other, if one is retained then the foundation for our learning can be hindered, this doesn’t mean that learning cannot take place it just means that it can be so much more difficult.
We believe at the Vision Learning Center that there is a lot more to vision than 20/20 eyesight.
-Norma Munoz, Vision Therapist