What are Primitive Reflexes?
Each one of us is born with a set of primitive reflexes. As the infant brain develops during the first year of life, connections to higher centers in the brain become stronger and increasingly take over the functions of primitive reflexes. As this occurs, earlier survival patterns are inhibited or controlled to allow more mature patterns of response to occur, such as the postural reflexes. The postural reflexes support control of balance, posture and movement in a gravity-based environment. Postural reflex development is mirrored in the infant's increasing ability to control its body, posture and movements.
Some children fail to gain this control fully in the first year of life and continue to grow up in a reflexive "no man’s land", where traces of the primitive reflexes remain present and the postural reflexes do not develop fully. These children continue to experience difficulty with movement control, affecting coordination, balance, fine motor skills, motor development and associated aspects of learning such as reading, writing and physical education. These uninhibited reflexes can interfere with subsequent motor development, visual functioning, hand-eye coordination and perceptual skills. If the physical nature of these difficulties is not identified, it can lead to frustration, hyperactivity, stress, hypersensitivity, and emotional problems later on. It can also interfere with concentration and short term memory. Retained primitive reflexes can also affect a child’s sensory perceptions, causing hypersensitivity in some areas and hyposensitivity in others.
SMART Pediatrics uses the Masgutova Method ("MNRI") to support the integration process of primary motor reflex patterns. While MNRI primary motor reflex pattern techniques alone have the power to improve general function, when combined with sensory motor integration activities, the potential for improvement becomes even greater. The correction of dysfunctional motor patterns can profoundly and positively change a child's behavior and improve self-confidence in regard to their bodies and ability to engage with their peers. An individual who demonstrates basic integrated sensory-motor reflexes and primary movements is ready to learn more advanced motor skills, to respond to multiple and diverse stimuli, and to attain higher levels of cognitive development.
To learn more about the MNRI technique, click the link below