Primary Reflex Pattern Integration

Primary / Primitive Reflexes?? What?

Does this all sound a bit ‘DOUBLE DUTCH’?

Many parents, teachers, therapists don’t know what Retained Primary Reflexes are, but they are familiar with ADHD, Sensory issues, Behaviour problems, Specific Learning Difficulties and Emotional Grounding delays.

Ever noticed when a new housing development is started and how long it takes for them the do the foundations? Once the FOUNDATIONS are correct the rest of the house goes up quite quickly! There is no point starting at the roof, the house must be built bottom up! This is exactly the same with humans. We also need a strong foundation in place for everything that comes after to be supported correctly and once we do this then the structures above us won’t collapse!

Did you know retained Primary Reflexes could cause or be part of some of these learning challenges your kids experience and they directly affect their learning development.  I didn’t know any other this either and I spent years trying to find out what was going on with my own child. ‘Expert’ after ‘Expert’, still no real answers.  Put him on drugs was one response and don’t tell the school? This really mad me angry and sad and this is probably still the advice parents are being given and without an alternative solution then what do they do?  I have spent 10+ years researching, training and practicing in many therapy modalities to help my child and little did I realise that when I started out everything I was learning for him I could use for myself and the rest of my family.  All of us had unintegrated reflexes!  We had learned compensations along the way!

Here’s what to look for?

It’s sometimes hard to know if your child has a retained reflex and if it’s related to their learning development; however, there are a few key signs to watch out for if you think our child may have one or multiple retained reflexes.

If your child does have a retained reflex, you may notice one or more of the following signs:

  • Had a traumatic birth or was a C-section delivery
  • Sensitive to touch, sound, smell and taste
  • Balance issues, is clumsy, struggles with sports, runs into furniture, can’t ride a bike
  • Freezes or is in constant fight or flight mode
  • Poor impulse control, easily distracted, severe mood swings
  • Can’t cross the midline, trouble with hand-eye coordination, struggles with fine motor
  • Has difficulty tracking when reading and writing
  • Poor posture, attention issues, wraps legs around chair, wets the bed after age 5
  • W-sitting, poor muscle control, toe walking
  • Picky eater
  • Chews or sucks pencils or toys
  • Outbursts of Aggressive
  • Under performance in school
  • Spelling problems
  • Sequencing in maths
  • Fidgety, a need to be constantly ‘on the move’
  • Difficulty using a knife and fork, dribbles food over themselves
  • Difficulty dressing, doing buttons on clothes
  • Under performance at school

This is not an exhaustive list but it may help you see some of the signs and behaviours in your own child.

Many kids with learning challenges often have a retained Reflex, but kids that have sensory issues no matter their diagnosis are some of the most likely to have one or more reflexes retained. Each of the senses are often affected by retained Primary Reflexes and can contribute to the child’s sensitivities to light and sound, visual information for tracking and reading, and auditory responses for comprehension and following directions.

What can I do?

Call me for a chat, it will cost you nothing to talk.   Rita. Call 07789767700 or email

I have a programme which will assess your child’s challenges and work with them to integrate the reflexes.  I will introduce a home programme to support this, which can be done in as little as 30 seconds a day!  It’s part of my READY FOR SCHOOL programme for children who are just starting school or for those who are finding school difficult!