Whole Movement Center

Rhythm and Reflexes ∙ Session Three

Rhythmic Movement # 2 Window Wiper Legs ∙ Fear Paralysis Reflex Integration Video of Navel Radiation Breathing ∙ Recording of Session Three

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PESI Rehab Live Seminars Online Learning Educational Products Customer Care PESI live seminar update: Due to concerns with COVID-19, all seminars have moved online. Click here for Online Learning Options. Integrating Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex: An exercise for children with learning disabilities Kathy Johnson, MS Ed. Do you have students who…. Are very disorganized? Can’t tell a good story from beginning to end? Can’t read an old fashioned clock? Mix up words related to time like yesterday and tomorrow? Have skinny arms and legs? Have no muscle tone and are weak in their upper body? Find it most comfortable to slouch in their chair? Hate to lie on their tummies to read or watch TV? If you responded yes to several of the above questions, the child may have a retained Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR). What is Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex? TLR is a primitive reflex in newborns. Normally, a baby spends time on their tummy with head and arms up and out. While doing this, a baby develops the muscles in their neck, shoulders, and back. These muscles are necessary for later stages of development. If a child has a retained TLR, they may have passed too quickly through this stage of development in infancy and retained the TLR. What does this mean? During the time TLR is developing, other areas in the body are also growing and maturing, including: The vision system for convergence – the ability to refocus near to far and back again easily The ability to use the entire foot for walking (instead of toe-walking) A later stage of development, Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR), is integrated by doing combat crawl. In order to do this, the baby needs to have developed strong muscles during the TLR stage to be able to pull herself across the floor. Crawling requires even more muscles as the arms must be able to hold up the weight of the body. In order to have healthy and complete development, the stages must be adequately entered and worked through. When TLR is retained and the muscles haven’t properly developed, a child may appear uncoordinated in their movement, have a tendency to walk on their toes, and hang their head forward while sitting (making concentration difficult and uncomfortable for a learning child). TLR and Brain Development During TLR, the connections to the temporal lobe are starting to be developed, setting up the brain to be able to sequence. We use sequencing for reading (keeping sounds in order), writing (keeping letters, words, and thoughts in order) and math (step-by-step directions, counting, telling time). A retained TLR can lead to difficulties learning reading, writing and math. What to do? By replicating the stage of development and completing easy, daily exercises, we can train our body to work through the retained TLR. While 30 days of exercise may be enough to make changes in a child’s sequencing ability, it may take up to six months of daily exercise to fully develop the muscles. Here’s one daily exercise to help integrate TLR: