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Underlying Cause of Poor School Performance

Posted on January 14, 2016 at 4:45 PM

One reflex that is commonly an underlying factor in poor school performance is the Asymetrical Tonic Neck Reflex, or ATNR. This reflex is present when babies look to one side and the arm and leg on the side that he or she is looking extends, while the limbs on the opposite side of the body flex, or bend. This reflex must integrate, or no longer appear, by approximately 5 months of age so that the infant can roll from the back to stomach, and later to be able to crawl successfully. If ATNR is not completely integrated into the body, or if it reappears at later stages in life, it can cause a block in a person's development. Symptoms that can be seen with a retained ATNR include difficulty with the following: establishing a hand dominance, crossing the vertical midline of the body, reading without moving one's head, reading without skipping words, reading comprehension, consistently going to the left side of the page when writing, auditory processing, paying attention, and staying focused. Our therapists are trained to recognize an active ATNR and in turn implement reflex integration exercises to facilitate appropriate neural integration. With the proper integration of this reflex, a child can experience a decline in the noted symptoms, resulting in improved success at school and everyday life.

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