Students who have difficulties in school generally have missed some developmental stages in infancy, causing sensory and cognitive deficiencies. By replicating the stages of development, the neuro pathways can be opened allowing for academic treatment to be successful. Per Sally Goddard, in Reflexes, Learning, and Behavior, “most education and many remedial techniques are aimed at reaching higher centers in the brain. A Neuro-Developmental approach identifies the lowest level of dysfunction and aims therapy at that area. Once problems there have been remedied, it attempts to build links from lower to higher centers through the use of specific stimulation techniques.”

Movement Therapy starts with the testing and integration of the Primitive Survival Reflexes. These reflexes help the newborn adjust from the mother’s womb to the new world. The primitive reflexes help provide the newborn with learning experiences which act as a foundation for more complex muscle movements and later cognitive tasks. The reflexes are integrated in a sequential fashion from 3-11 months. Lack of integration of these reflexes past 6-12 months postnatally can interfere with cortical and cerebellum processing and affect learning, movement and attention. The visual motor system is intimately involved in the transition from primitive reflexes to cortical cerebellum control of movement patterns.

The purpose of these primitive survival reflexes in visual development is to help infants to learn where they are in space; to begin to localize objects around them; to facilitate the use of both eyes together; and to help with focusing and depth perception. Visual problems at a later age can often be attributed to the lingering of the primitive reflexes beyond the 6-12 month period.

We use “Maintaining Brains Everyday” primitive reflex exercises. This is available in a dvd or download from You can purchase the dvd directly from Equipping Minds. These exercises should be done daily for 6-8 weeks.