Our latest blog posts, written by the Wilson Centre experts on various topics surrounding child development.
Babies are born with natural movement instincts, these are called primitive reflexes. For example, when a newborn baby is startled by a loud noise their arms and legs will go up into the air as part of the moro reflex. If you touch a babies cheek, they will turn their head in the direction of the touch and start suckling, this is known as the rooting reflex. These are two examples of the primitive reflexes.
The primitive reflexes remain active for the first few months of life. However, during the first year, if a child is developing typically the reflexes will inhibit over the year. Replacing them are the postural reflexes, which are the human body’s response, controlling posture, balance and coordination.
In some children the primitive reflexes are retained, which can be an indication of underlying issues. For example Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. An Occupational Therapist tests children to see if their primitive reflexes have been integrated.
Here are some signs of retained primitive reflexes that you can observe at home:
If you are concerned you should book a consultation with an occupational therapist.