Primitive Reflexes

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"Primitive reflexes are reflex actions that originate in the central nervous system, which are exhibited by neurologically typical infants when elicited, but not in neurologically typical children and adults. Survival reflexes are reflex actions that originate from the brain stem that are elicited in neurologically typical children and adults for protection when in danger. These reflexes are only present in dangerous situations when properly integrated. A Primitive Reflex is an automatic response to a sensory stimulus. Primitive reflexes are appear in-utero and infancy and are integrated into higher motor patterns as the infant develops during the first 6-12 months of life. Primitive reflexes are thought to promote head safety, body awareness and promote the organization of motor development. Integration refers to the neurological inhibition by higher centers of control in the brain that modifies the reflex in such a way that the pattern of behavior/response is no longer automatic. Most primitive reflexes turn into higher motor patterns and simply stop controlling the body automatically. Some reflexes, such as survival reflexes, may reactivate under stress. When primitive reflexes are persistently displayed beyond the expected integration age, it is an indication that an underlying developmental or neurological difficulty may exist. Primitive reflexes that do not integrate often interfere with the development of higher motor patters, thus affecting the ability of the child to develop more advanced skills.Primitive reflexes are testing through Reflex Testing. Reflex testing is utilized to assess an individual"s reflexes to look for areas that may be influencing sensory processing, modulation and the musculoskeletal systems and development."

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