Move to Learn - Learn to move


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Primitive Reflexes

Posted on April 3, 2016 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

What are Primitive Reflexes?

They are---Survival responses in infants (pre-birth through 6-18month)

Integration of primitive reflexes in not ‘guaranteed’ a child must be allowed time on the floor, given encouragement, and have an environment relatively free from technology.

Having reflexes that do not integrate is VERY common. Un-integrated reflexes can negatively impact the lives of children and later as adults in not completed. Uninhibited reflexes can present as ADHD, dyslexia, autism, sensory challenges, speech difficulties, bedwetting, clumsiness, coordination issues as well as learning and behavior problems.

When primitive reflexes remain active, movement behavior, thought and emotion generally originate in the survival areas of the brain. Remaining in the fight or flight response hinders prefrontal cortex development of thinking, rationality, and creativity.

As children age and move from self centric to a more socially oriented environment they begin to develop ‘coping’ mechanisms. These can carry the person (successfully or unsuccessfully) into adulthood. They learn to cope. As adult age into later years primitive reflexes may appear again as coping mechanisms begin to fail.

Reflex integration can be inhibited by

Stress in Pregnancy

Birth trauma

Drug use/abuse




Chronic stress

Toxic environment

Dietary imbalance

Dietary sensitivity/allergy

Lack of movement necessary in early childhood (Belly crawl, rolling, turning, rocking, creeping)

Excess time spent in car seats, carriers, playpens, walkers, swings, jumpers, exposure to TV, cell phone, other technology can block critical movement necessary for brain development.  

There is HOPE and GOOD NEWS! Primitive Reflexes CAN be integrated at ANY TIME & ANY AGE. Once the reflexes become integrated symptoms or difficulties dissipate and often go away. Integrative movement activities can help in the process of closing/inhibiting primitive reflexes. It may take more than one session to close (due to the layers of coping/survival behaviors) however, progress can be made with continued dedication and commitment. 

Thanks for Bringing Bal-A-Vis-X to our School

Posted on December 18, 2015 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

A note from a Kindergarten teacher 12-17-15

Just thinking of you. I had an IEP the first week of Dec. for a student with autism in my class this year. I have continued to do the Bal-A-Vis-X clapping exercises with my class every morning and the Brain Gym Pace after lunch. More if we need it or time allows. At the meeting I mentioned this. A few minutes later the mother said that he is buckling himself into the car now. The autism consultant asked her how long this had been happening. She replied, "A month, month and a half". The ASD consultant replied that it was probably the exercises for midline crossing that are helping. :) Thought you would like to hear that. Thanks for brining it to our school, students are still benefiting, even from the few minutes a day that we do.

What Do I Do?

Posted on June 8, 2015 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I was recently asked "just what is it that you do?"

I've shared this on my other social media sites & thought it would fit here as well. I know that if you follow me on these other sites it will be a little repetitious however, sometimes seeing information in different forms furthers the understanding of the information.

'What Do I Do'?

The main program that I do is called Bal-A-Vis-X (balance, auditory, visual eXercises)

Basically, What I do is to use Bean Bags & Balls with multiple midline crossings to integrate the Brain/Body system. Multiple midline crossings while

tracking with the eyes and listening to the rhythmic sound that is associated with the technique used while bags/balls are being tossed/bounced. I

also use balance boards--doing this stimulates the vesitbular system which in turn, turns on the visual/auditory teaming system.

The Brain learns best through purposeful movement. I teach techniques that are rhythmic & repetitive, this allows the mylinization of the neuron

connections. The exercises become increasingly complex as the brain wires/rewires itself. The brain likes "novelty" to keep the brain interested in the

activity we progress through a series of exercises over time. There are 300+ exercises to date.

The youngest client I have worked with is 4 years old and the oldest 100. Exercises are adapted to the individual needs of the client. I have worked

with wheel chair bound children & adults, those who have visual & hear impairments, as well as people who need someone to physically move their

hands/feet for them. All have benefited from these activities. The only people I have found who do not are those who refuse to participate. I have only

experienced this once or twice in my 10+ years of doing this program.

One of the other things I do is conduct trainings for Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Vision Therapists, Special Education/Classroom

Teachers, so that they can incorporate this program with their clients/students.


I have an adult group that meets at 9:30 am on Mondays & Wednesdays at the First Congregational Church in Frankfort (the youngest is mid 30's &

oldest is 88yrs), There will also be a group for students at 10:30 the same days.