POSTURAL REFLEXES

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These are transformed primitive reflexes and executed by higher regions in the brain (cortex). Once present they should remain for life. Their absence is an indication that the CNS is immature.
 
THE SYMMETRICAL TONIC NECK REFLEX- FLEXION & EXTENSION (STNR):-
• When the child is in the quadruped position, flexion of the head causes the arms to bend and the legs to extend.
• Head extension on the other hand causes the legs to flex and the arms to straighten.
• Emerges at about 6-9 months of life and is inhibited about 9-11 months
• If retained affects posture, hand-eye coordination and swimming skills
• Results in the tendency to slump when sitting at a desk, ape-like walk, "clumsy child" syndrome, difficulties with binocular vision, slowness at copying tasks and messy eating habits.
 
LANDAU REFLEX:-
• Emerges 3-10 months neonate and is inhibited by 36 months
• Can only occur when the TLR has been integrated and adequate muscle tone has developed.
• Neither the Landau nor the STNR are true primitive or postural reflexes. Since they are not present at birth, and do not remain present for the remainder of life, they need to be considered as "bridge" reflexes which have an important inhibitory affect upon the TLR, while strengthening muscle tone and developing vestibulo-ocular motor skills.
 
THE TRANSFORMED TONIC NECK REFLEX:-
• Emerges 6-8 months neonate and remains for life
• When present is an indicator that cross lateral integration is developing adequately
• If absent, it indicates that other primitive reflexes are present and inhibiting CNS development
 
THE AMPHIBIAN REFLEX:-
• Emerges 4-6 months neonate and remains for life
• If absent suggests uninhibited primitive reflexes especially the ATNR
• Is essential for crawling, walking & running 
 
SEGMENTAL ROLLING REFLEXES:-
• Emerge 6-10 months neonate and remain for life
• Are essential for the integration of cross lateral movements such as smooth walking, running, jumping, skipping, marching, and swimming.
 
OCCULO-HEAD RIGHTING REFLEX:-
• Emerges 2-3 months neonate and remains for life
• Is critical for efficient balance and eye movement control
• When underdeveloped can lead to poor visual tracking, and sometimes nausea and disorientation.
 
LABYRINTHINE-HEAD RIGHTING REFLEX:-
• Emerges 2-3 months neonate and remains for life
• Is linked to the vestibular motor system
• Together with the OHRR is essential for balance.
 
One of the reasons why children frequently lose their place when copying from the board is because they have not yet developed efficient OHRR and LHRR reflexes. They struggle to readjust their focus making the task slow and laborious.
In some individuals, full integration and transformation of the primitive reflexes fails to occur and they remain active despite normal development in other areas. When this occurs, it contributes to the underdevelopment of efficient proprioceptive-motor integration, hand-eye co-ordination, lateral integration and aspects of perceptual performance.
Detection of primitive reflexes (diagnostic assessment) can help isolate some of the causes of a child's problems so that remedial training can be targeted more effectively.
If the reflex profile is only marginally abnormal, teaching strategies alone will usually be sufficient. Those with a moderate degree of reflex abnormality may benefit from a combination of specialised teaching and a reflex inhibition program designed to improve balance and co-ordination. If, however, a cluster of aberrant reflexes is present, a reflex inhibition program together with chiropractic treatment and other therapies is more effective.

POSTURAL REFLEXES

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