How Retained Reflexes Impact Behavior and Learning

There was a big snowstorm on the east coast a couple of weeks ago.  It caused over 2000 airline flights to be cancelled.  I assume people got to their destinations eventually, but I also imagine that it caused a great deal of anxiety and disruption to people’s lives.

Just as air travel is dependent upon an organized system of flight patterns, our nervous system is organized around a system of reflexes.  Primitive reflexes support survival and development in infants, to be replaced with higher-level reflexes as the brain and muscles mature.  Reflexes need to be working properly in order for us to move through life with ease and flow.

When reflexes are not integrated, or working properly, they are like cancelled flights and closed airports, causing disruption, disorganization, and distress to the person’s functioning, attention, and learning, and family.

I had the pleasure of attending a marvelous QRI (Quantum Reflex Integration) workshop this past week.  It reinforced for me again how critical properly working reflexes are to optimal functioning.  Retained/not integrated reflexes are often at the root of the behavior that causes parents worry and wonder:

Why does my child act this way?

Did you know that:

Bedwetting beyond the age of 5 and sleep problems may be related to a retained Spinal Perez reflex?

A child who hates to wear shoes may have a retained Babinski reflex?

The child who continually drops or knocks things over when he turns his head, may have a retained ATNR (Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex)?

An aggressive, defiant child prone to temper tantrums may have a retained Fear Paralysis Reflex?

An infant with problems nursing may have an inactive Grasping Reflex?

A child who craves sweets and tends to snack rather than eat whole meals may have a retained Moro Reflex?

A student with memory and reading problems may have a retain STNR (Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex).

A student who speaks well but can’t get her thoughts on paper may have a retained ATNR reflex?

A student with poor organizational skills may have an unintegrated Landau Reflex?

The list goes on and on.  To me, it is fascinating to see how everything is connected.  Frustrating or difficult behaviors and challenges with learning are related to something.  They are not about not caring, being unmotivated, bad parenting, or being “bad kids.”  They are related to reflexes and underlying skills that are not supporting the person well enough.

The encouraging thing is that these reflexes can be integrated and weak underlying skills can be developed.  When the pathways are open, the brain is available and ready to pay attention, learn, and function properly.

Do you or your child struggle with speaking, reading, learning, or attention?  These challenges can be changed.  While there are no simple, overnight solutions, most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected through developing the weak underlying skills and remediating the affected academic areas.  Need to know more??

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“Helping smart but struggling students dramatically improve or completely correct their learning and attention challenges by developing the underlying learning skills that are not supporting the learner well enough.”
We serve children and adults with diagnosed or undiagnosed learning and attention challenges including learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, auditory processing disorders, and autism spectrum disorders.
Jill Stowell, M.S.
Author:  At Wit’s End A Parent’s Guide to Ending the Struggle Tears, and Turmoil of Learning Disabilities
Founder and Executive Director – Stowell Learning Centers

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