Play Therapist - Building Stronger Relationships Through Play
Primitive Reflexes
Primitive reflexes are automatic responses by an infant to a particular stimuli.  These reflexes are basic survival skills and disappear in a few months following birth.  Some of these reflexes remain active until the age of 2 years old.
As the infant's brain matures, the reflexes are no longer needed and become integrated.  If these reflexes aren't integrated, the neurological organization of the brain is stagnated.  Children with cerebral palsy; anxiety; anger management issues (or any emotional issues); anxiety; learning disorders; ADD or ADHD; autism spectrum; oppositional defiant disorder; fetal alcohol spectrum; communication, speech, and language disorders; and other neurodevelopmental disorders are known to have active reflexes.
Children who are born via cesarean section, experienced trauma, neglect and/or abuse are more at risk at having active primitive reflexes.  Also, children who did not have sufficient "tummy time" as an infant, or children who did not crawl are also at risk for having active reflexes.
If you can answer "YES" to any of the following, your child may still have active reflexes:
  • Any medical problems during pregnancy?
  • Any complications during pregnancy or delivery?
  • Was the baby in a breech position?
  • Was a Cesarean section performed?
  • Child wets the bed and is older than 5 years old?
  • Little crawling on all fours?
  • Problems with feeding during the first 3 months?
  • Bed rest during the later part of pregnancy?

Rhythmic Movement Therapy
Rhythmic Movement Therapy is a movement training program to integrate primitive reflexes and to assist in the maturation of the brain.  The movements are based on the spontaneous movements of a baby and are important for motor, speech, emotional, and vision development.  To be effective, the rhythmic exercises need to be done at least five days a week, anywhere from a month to a year, depending upon the issue(s).  I am one of a few providers of Rhythmic Movement Therapy in St Louis.