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"What are Primitive Reflexes?
Primitive reflexes are automatic stereotypic movements directed from the brainstem and require no cortical involvement (thought). They are needed for survival and development in the womb and in the early months of life. However, as higher more sophisticated centers of the brain begin to mature, these primitive reflexes become a nuisance and must be abated in order for proper neurological organization of the brain to develop.
What happens if Primitive Reflexes don’t go away? If the Primitive Reflexes are retained past the first year of life (at the very latest) they can interfere with social, academic, and motor learning. Basically, the perception of our inner and outer environment and our response to it may be disturbed; that is, conscious life may be disturbed. Children with learning disorders, ADHD, Autism Spectrum, and various other neurodevelopmental disorders are known to have retained primitive reflexes contributing to their symptoms and level of dysfunction. Each reflex is associated with one or more of the Sensory Processing Systems: Auditory, Taste, Tactile, Smell, Visual, Vestibular, Proprioceptive and/or Interoceptive. Therefore, if retained, a child/person may experience dysfunction within one or several of the sensory processing systems. This can lead to what is known as Sensory Processing Disorder." Hellerstein, L.F., O.D., FCOVD., FAAO.; (2010); Primitive Reflexes; retrieved from http://lynnhellerstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Primitive_Reflexes-1.pdf