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Social Skills and Hand Supporting Reflex

Posted on January 5, 2016 at 5:20 PM

Children who have poorly defined pesonal space and challenges with social skills often have an unintegrated Hands Supporting Reflex. This reflex presents itself when we automatically extend our arms to catch ourselves when we fall or extend our arms in front of our face when a ball or other object is thrown at us. It's primary purpose is for protection and survival- to protect our brain and vital organs from injury. It also has implecations for knowledge of personal space. The length of our arms extended in front of us is the approximate length of our personal space preference. When people who are not family or close friends enter that personal space, our brain automatically alerts us to back up. If hands supporting reflex is not integrated, we are not only more prone to injuries of our upper body and face, we also tend to get "too close" to others, making them uncomfortable and creating challenges with social interactions. The person often doesn't even realize that they are too close, their brain just doesn't alert them like it should. Through reflex integration exercises, a person can learn appropriate boundaries for personal space and in turn have more success with social interactions.

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