Move to Learn - Learn to move


Primitive Reflexes - Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex

Posted on April 14, 2016 at 6:25 PM

The STNR Reflex emerges at about six months of age and helps the baby begin to crawl. However, if the baby fails to do enough crawling, this reflex remains active, causing involuntary movements that interfere with the child gaining control over the body, including eye tracking and movement. An active STNR makes it difficult for the child to focus, sit still at a desk or chair. It also interferes with postures required for reading and writing. A child with an active STNR has difficulty relaxing, will fidget often, is easily distracted and finds it very difficult to be comfortable-thus the constant (or almost constant) movement.

A nonintegrated Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex may present in childhood or later in life as:

Reading Problems

Focus challenges


Messy eater

Poor posture

Ape-like walk Poor hand writing

Difficulty sitting still

What can be done to integrate/close/inhibit the STNR?With someone trained and working in safe, trusting environment a protocol of activation, re-patterning through physical cross mid-line purposeful movement will inhibit or begin progress on closing the reflex. This may take one or more sessions dependent upon the degree of non-inhibited activation of the reflex. The beauty of reflex integration is the WORK is done through PLAY!

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