Hi! Welcome to our Superman Mini Course! You might be wondering… why on earth is this course called the “superman” mini course?? I’ll tell ya!
The “Superman” Reflex is also known as the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex! At Yellow Wood, we’re pretty passionate about Primitive Reflexes, and we talk about them, a lot! Primitive reflexes are the first step in healthy brain development, and are the reflexes present at birth to help infants through the birthing process and first year of life. One great example is the “startle reflex”. We’ve all seen a baby get startled and throw their arms out and head back. This reflex is part of an infant’s survival mechanisms, but as they mature and develop, they don’t need it anymore. Other than just survival, primitive reflexes are also responsible for connecting the lower centers of the brain to higher, more mature centers of the brain so that children can do more complex things! These reflexes should disappear by year one, but sometimes they “get stuck”, or are retained, and it halts the brain development process. This can cause a myriad of difficulties for a child, including anxiety, trouble learning to read, poor handwriting, and many others!
When primitive reflexes are retained, kids have trouble using their whole brain effectively, and this makes it hard to access cognitive skills, like attention, memory skills, sequencing, and even logic and reasoning. Many of the symptoms related to these reflexes are also associated with ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorder, and more. If the brain is still immature, meaning it hasn’t finished developing because primitive reflexes are still intact, then the challenges will become more obvious as the student gets older. That is why primitive reflex integration is SO important to the success of a struggling student!
The amazing news about reflexes is this: learning challenges related to a retained reflex can be overcome! FIXED! See why we’re so excited about this? We LOVE helping families and students overcome their learning and behavioral challenges by testing for retained reflexes and then integrating them through simple movement exercises!
One of my favorite reflexes to “integrate” is the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR). You can see this reflex in action in infants when they do tummy time! A child who is placed on their belly will automatically lift their head and arms off the floor for a few seconds. As babies practice this movement, it helps to integrate the TLR. This is just one of many reasons why tummy time is so important for babies!
In this mini course, we’ll talk about the TLR reflex AND vestibular system. Both work together to build strong brains, so it’s really great to work on both at once!