What are primitive reflexes
Gieysztor, Choinska & Paprocka-Browicz define primitive reflexes as “automatic movement patterns that commence during pregnancy and are fully present at birth”. These reflexes are utilised to help development of more complex movements for postural control and balance etc.
Why do they remain immature?
This is an area of ongoing research and there are a multitude of reasons why reflexes remain immature. Some possibilities include trauma during birthing process, lack of tummy time and ongoing ear infections.
What is the significance of retaining primitive reflexes?
If a child has not appropriately integrated these reflexes, this may present in poor motor skills such as difficulties running, jumping, throwing/catching and sitting still. These factors can result in learning and behavioural challenges in the future, if not appropriately addressed.
Gieysztor, E. Z., Choińska, A. M., & Paprocka-Borowicz, M. (2018). Persistence of primitive reflexes and associated motor problems in healthy preschool children. Archives of Medical Science : AMS, 14(1), 167-173. doi:10.5114/aoms.2016.60503