1.3 How to Integrate TLR
So, you may be thinking, “Wow! This sounds *just* like my child! But, wait! How do we fix it??” Well, here ya go! Many exercises that help integrate reflexes look similar to the reflex in an infant. So, when integrating the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex, you’re essentially going to recreate tummy time! Here are a few ways you can do this:
The main exercise we use for integrating the TLR is the superman. In order to complete this exercise, you’ll:
Repeat 3 times daily for 6 weeks.
Lay on the floor or on a yoga ball on your stomach
Lift arms above your head, and life your arms and legs off the floor at the same time, hold this position and count to at least 10.
If this exercise is extremely difficult, parents may need to help hold the legs up while the child focuses just on lifting their arms. Usually this will not be necessary after a couple weeks.
2. “FLOOR PLAY”
Another approach is floor time. You can often find activities to complete while laying on the floor on their stomach. Some ideas could be reading a book, doing homework, or completing a puzzle… or even just playing with legos, while propped on your elbows. If you have a scooter board, rolling around on your stomach is a great way to work on the TLR. Many OT’s have stretchy swings that you can lay in on your stomach with your and legs stretched out, so you can swing and do other activities while in the “superman” position. We have a swing like this in the doorway at our home so my 4 year old son can get in some daily tummy time!
Here’s the key to success with integrating the TLR and any reflex: you MUST do it daily for at least a 30 days! Just like when starting a new habit, the habit won’t form until you’ve done it daily for a few weeks. With Reflexes, we’re making new brain connections and pathways, so that will take time and it must be deliberate in order to integrate the reflex! In order to help you out with this, I’ve created a free printable chart that you can print for each of your children and hang on the fridge! Every time they complete the super man or at least 10 minutes of floor time, you can add a sticker to the chart!
What happens if you fall of the bandwagon? Don’t worry! If you’ve only missed a day or two, just jump back in and add a few days to your chart. If you’ve missed more than that though, I would suggest starting over!
Are you a classroom teacher? This is an amazing and easy exercise to implement in your class! Use it as a brain break, and encourage your students to continue with it on the weekends! You’ll see results in any student who has a retained TLR, and it will only help your other students to strengthen their core even more!
Here are printable instructions:
Use this printable chart to track your progress for 30 days!