- Posted by Sam
- On 12/11/2015
- 0 Comments
Movement Therapy starts with the testing and integration of the Primitive Survival Reflexes. These reflexes help the newborn adjust from the mother’s womb to the new world. The primitive reflexes help provide the newborn with learning experiences which act as a foundation for more complex muscle movements and later cognitive tasks. The reflexes are integrated in a sequential fashion from 3-11 months. Lack of integration of these reflexes past 6-12 months postnatally can interfere with cortical and cerebellum processing and affect learning, movement and attention. The visual motor system is intimately involved in the transition from primitive reflexes to cortical cerebellum control of movement patterns.
The purpose of these primitive survival reflexes in visual development is to help infants to learn where they are in space; to begin to localize objects around them; to facilitate the use of both eyes together; and to help with focusing and depth perception. Visual problems at a later age can often be attributed to the lingering of the primitive reflexes beyond the 6-12 month period.
There are five major reflexes that involve vision and learning:
- Tonic Labyrinthine
- Spinal Galant
- Asymmetrical Tonic Neck
- Symmetrical Tonic Neck
A General Movement Therapy Program is implemented after the primitive reflexes have been integrated. These motor skills help improve balance-orientation, reciprocal interweaving of right and left, upper body and lower body control like hopping skipping or jump rope, other visually guided movement patterns like bike riding or rollerblading.
After the general motor skills have improved a Visual-Movement Development Program is implemented which includes visual tracking, visual localization and fixation, visual coordination skills, and visual cognitive problem-solving skills.