What are primitive reflexes in a baby and why is it important to understand what they are and how they work? Primitive reflexes are the body’s automatic movements/responses to a stimulus. Initially, reflexes help assist with a baby’s ability to survive and grow prior to birth and early infancy. They also assist with building higher level foundational skills needed as the child grows.
When do they disappear?
Usually reflexes begin to disappear before the age of 1, yet they are thought to stay at the back burner until we use more mature skills instead.
When is it a concern?
Many typical developing individuals have a retained or immature reflex that is not integrated. However, it can impact the quality and effort that may be needed to do certain things. It becomes a concern when it begins to impact FUNCTION. Yet, more than reflexes can lead to difficulty with function.
Some examples of areas that may be negatively impacted are coordination, balance, social skills, learning abilities, and more.
How do I know if this relates to my child?
We encourage our families to focus on function. If you see concerns with your child’s ability to participate in age-appropriate activities, difficulty with socials skills, learning abilities, coordination, or balance; please contact Therapy OPS to learn more about how we as therapists can support you and your child.
Therapy OPS takes a holistic perspective to treat all areas that may be impacting your child’s overall function. If we feel that a reflex is impacting your child’s success with an activity, we can use play-based treatments to help promote integration of that specific reflex.If you have any questions about your child’s primitive reflexes, please contact TOPS and a therapist would be happy to discuss your questions