Do you use rhythmic movements in treatment sessions?

Dysgraphia Awareness, Primitive Reflexes | 0 comments

Written by Cheri Dotterer

May 28, 2020

According to Harald Blomberg, MD, rhythmic movements help build neural synapse growth and facilitate the integration of primitive reflexes.  In 2015, he published The Rhythmic Movement Method.

His book discusses how the lack of neural development in the reticular activating system, cerebellum, and basal ganglia are the cause of many retained primitive reflexes.

What are these reflexes?

They are reflexes that are present during fetal development and the first year of a typically developing child. They are the spontaneous movements that babies do to eat and learn to walk.

Have you ever noticed an infant turns its face toward the side when you touch its cheek? It also opens its mouth to drink milk. This reflex is called the rooting reflex. Under normal conditions, it disappears when a child begins to sit up to eat.

Several more primitive reflexes exist. When they do not integrate properly into more mature movement patterns, a learning disorder may develop. Over the next few weeks, I am going to summarize several of these reflexes and discuss how they may look inside the classroom and with handwriting. They are quite subtle. If one of them triggers a thought about one of your students, talk with the occupational therapist in your school.

Reflexes that you can look forward to learning more about include the Moro and fear paralysis reflex, the asymmetric tonic neck reflex (ATNR), the symmetric tonic neck reflex (STNR), the spinal Galant and spinal pereze reflexes, and the tonic labyrinthine reflex (TLR).

The Moro is the startle reflex. The ATNR allows the child to turn its head side to side. The STNR allows a child to move its head forward and back. The spinal reflexes impact things touching one’s back. The TLR allows one to stretch. Each connects the head and the body in some way.

Look for a breakdown of each of these reflexes and how they present in elementary-aged students over the next few weeks.



Blomberg, H. (2015). The Rhythmic Movement Method. Morrisville, NC: Lulu Publishing Services.

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