Why does my child have poor handwriting?

Next on the list is the Palmar Reflex! This reflex is seen in infancy when a child grasps your finger! It usually is integrated into normal movement by 5 or 6 months of age. 

Everyone has seen a child who, while practicing cutting with scissors or playing piano, sticks their tongue out because they are concentrating. What's really happening though is that the Palmar Reflex has not integrated! This reflex literally connects the hand and mouth, so when it sticks around into childhood, it can look pretty funny! This reflex must be integrated in order for children to be successful with the "pincer grasp", which is the ability to pick up objects with just your thumb and index finger. If not integrated, it will also impact pencil grip. Children diagnosed with dysgraphia or who have a strange pencil grip likely have a retained Palmar Reflex! They struggle with manual dexterity, have labored and messy handwriting, and may have articulation issues as well. 

It's so important to integrate this reflex! By doing so children are able to write neatly and with ease, use fine motor skills, and even speech clearly and efficiently! 

Check out this video for more information about symptoms of a retained Palmar Reflex.

Check out our workshops to learn how to integrate primitive reflexes! 

Why is my child easily startled or anxious?

Anyone have a child who is easily startled? Or who is very anxious in new situations? These are just a couple of the symptoms that can affect a child with a retained Moro reflex. 

But first, what does it mean to be "retained"? This just means that the reflex has "stuck around" for too long. Typically these primitive reflexes are "integrated" by a year old. When this doesn't happen, it becomes harder for the brain to be used efficiently, especially as a child gets older and has more demands. But, even if a reflex is retained, it's never too late to help it integrate.

Back to the Moro reflex... also known as "the startle reflex", is just that - It's the reflex you see when an infant is startled and throws his arms and legs out! Just imagine, if this reflex is retained into your childhood or even adulthood, how it might affect you! Symptoms seen with this reflex are car sickness, anxiety, difficulty with change, sensory sensitivities, and more! It's SO important to make sure this reflex is integrated so that your child, or even yourself, can thrive! 

When I began tutoring using our Success Training program, I realized pretty quickly that I had a retained Moro reflex. After a couple months of doing the exercises daily, I saw a significant change in my anxiety and nervousness! I was amazed! And this spurred my passion for primitive reflexes because I saw first hand the difference it can make. 

If you're interested in learning more about the Moro reflex, and primitive reflexes in general, check out this awesome video, or to learn more information, check out our online workshops!



Let's Start at the Very Beginning... Primitive Reflexes

Primitive reflexes are the first step in healthy brain development. They are reflexes present at birth to help infants through the birthing process and first year of life. These reflexes should disappear by year one, but sometimes they “get stuck” and it halts the brain development process. This can cause a myriad of difficulties for a child, such as poor balance, poor attention, and even anxiety.

When primitive reflexes are retained (they stay for too long), kids have trouble using their whole brain effectively, and this makes it hard to use more mature parts of the brain, like attention, memory skills, sequencing, and even logic and reasoning. Many of the symptoms related to these reflexes are also associated with ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder, and more.

If your child has retained reflexes, don’t worry! There are simple things you can do to integrate those reflexes and help your child through that brain development at any age. Yep, even if you missed this step as an infant, it’s not too late! You can integrate reflexes at any age!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to walk us through the basics about each primitive reflex that we work on at Yellow Wood Tutoring.

Here’s a video to get us started!