*Please note- this blog post was written during my time at Brain Fit Academy Inc. I have since continued this amazing work under my own company- Brain FUNdamentals LLC. I hope you enjoy!
You know how once someone points something out to you, you start to notice that thing everywhere? Like if they tell you about a certain street sign or a new type snack food. Once you know about it, you start to find it everywhere you look.
Now, I don’t know if that happens more because it’s just fresh in your mind so you’re looking for it more readily, or if they were really just there all along and you never noticed them before?
I’m like that with Primitive Reflexes. Once I started to learn about the Primitive Reflexes and the symptoms and struggles they can cause, I started seeing kids with unintegrated reflexes everywhere. I would see them in the grocery store, I would see them at the playground, and I would see them at work- oh MAN, would I see them at work!!
For those of you that have been following my blog, you will already know that I am a teacher. I’m currently on a leave-of-absence from my teaching job, but a teacher none-the-less. So of course, I was around a lot of kids- especially in my job as a specialist teacher, I was seeing upwards of 250 kids a week.
250 kids a week. That gave me plenty of time to notice unintegrated reflexes.
I would see kids coming into my class that couldn’t sit on a stool without falling off and I would link it (in my head) to an unintegrated STNR (Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex).
I would see kids with awkward writing positions and could do nothing but think about ATNR (Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex).
I would see kids coming to my class that would immediately get on the floor and instinctively start doing rhythmic movements with their bodies that help to integrate the TLR (Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex).
And worst of all, I would see kids that were in full Fight, Flight, or Freeze mode and know that their MORO and/or Fear Paralysis reflexes were (more than likely) not fully integrated.
I would see these kids and start analyzing them in my head. I would make connections to what I saw, to what their classroom teacher saw, and to the Primitive Reflexes.
I couldn’t stop seeing the effects of unintegrated reflexes showing themselves in the myriad of kids that I worked with on a daily basis.
Now, I would like to add here. I’m not saying that every child that has some unintegrated reflexes needs to come to Brain Fit Academy, or that they even need any kind of therapy at all. Many kids (and many adults too!) have reflexes that aren’t fully integrated and they get along just fine.
Maybe they have built up compensations that work for them, or the unintegrated reflex just causes more of an annoyance to everyday life, rather than a disruption. And sometimes- it may just be that the parents of the children just “don’t know what they don’t know” so although the child may really benefit from Primitive Reflex Integration, the parents just haven’t learned about us (or places like us) yet.
But I’m talking about other kids. I’m talking about the ones that struggled every day at school. The ones whose anxiety was so bad that they could barely get through a school day. The ones who were expending so much energy to physically write, or stay on the chair that there “wasn’t much left“. Those are the kids I’m talking about. Those are the ones I wanted to help. Those are the ones that stood out to me. Those are the ones that I wished I could do more for. Those are the ones that I knew needed Brain Fit Academy.
I was seeing unintegrated reflexes wherever I looked. I was seeing kids that I knew could benefit from this work and I was ready and willing to help them.
I ended up as a coach at Brain Fit Academy because once I knew about Primitive Reflexes, I couldn’t then “un-know” them.
I couldn’t “un-know” the reflexes- so instead, I stepped into this job that allowed me to help kids in a way that I didn’t know about until I knew it.
And I’m so very glad I did…