These short videos will show you what we did to inhibit Jacob’s Primitive Reflexes.
These exercise need to be done three times a day, three days per week. Leave several hours in between each time you do them all. But you won’t want to do them just before bed, as they stimulate the brain, and may make it difficult to fall asleep. It may take a few months to inhibit the reflexes or even longer. Chances are each reflex will take a different length of time to inhibit. Please note that the boy in the videos is not Jacob. He is a friend of the family. Brain Balance Achievement Center has made some changes to the way the exercises need to be done, since I recorded the videos. So I have added notes below to address these changes, and I put in reminders of what was already in the videos. If you, or your child, have developmental delays, it is most likely that some, if not all, of the reflexes are not yet inhibited and need to be addressed. You can click on the highlighted links below. But I ask that you read this page first, especially the notes next to each exercise link.
Reflex Palmer Grasp for Autism and Academic Delays 1 of 8 – This can be done just as effectively without the ball you see in the video, and is easier for the younger children to do. Press each finger firmly to the thumb.
Reflex Rooting for Autism and Academic Delays 2 of 8 – Using the finger is not very effective. They suggest using the tip of a pen, WITHOUT the ink sticking out.
Reflex Startle Starfish Pop-ups for Autism and Academic Delays 3 of 8 – Breathe out when you put your head down, (you might need to take a breath or two in between, if need be.) Then quickly breathe in as if startled, when you come up. It sort of tricks the brain, so that you are doing what a baby does when they are startled. I know it seems silly, but it works to inhibit this reflex.
Reflex Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Lizard for Autism and Academic Delays 4 of 8 – Do it both ways: Regular and Reverse. Make sure the hip goes down as close to the ground as possible. Slow and steady, but not too slow.
Reflex Symmetrical Tonic Crawling Cat Neck for Autism and Academic Delays 5 of 8 – You can put a stuffed animal on their back, in order to help them hold their back still. Have them try not to let the plush toy fall off their back.
Reflex Landau Superman for Autism and Academic Delays 6 of 8 – Remember to keep the feet on the floor.
Reflex Tonic Labyrinthine Egg for Autism and Academic Delays 7 of 8 – When laying back on the floor, also stay for the 15 second count, the same as when they curl up into the egg position.
Reflex Spinal Galant Snow Angels for Autism and Academic Delays 8 of 8 – The lower back needs to be touching something, if it doesn’t touch the floor. So you can fold a hand towel, and place it under the back. Slow and steady and make sure the hands and legs are in sync, opening and closing at the same time.
Please read below first for important information, then you can scroll down to the bottom of this page to watch the videos.
Getting rid of our eight Primitive Reflexes or Infantile Reflexes, as they are sometimes called, is usually key to making any huge improvements in further developing the brain. They do not replace what Hemispheric Integration Therapy does, yet they are foundational to helping the therapy move along as far as possible. My understanding is that the frontal lobe , which is the last part to develop, will usually not reach full development, even after years of therapy, if the reflexes are not taken care of. Please click on the link provided on “frontal lobe” to view some of its functions. While some areas may have been able to grow just fine, other areas are stifled and the brain becomes out of balance and can become worse over time. And even if those reflexes have disappeared as they should, they can reappear after a brain injury or even Alzheimer’s.
If you choose to have your child go through Occupational, Physical or ABA Therapy, or the like, please make sure your child is tested for lingering primitive reflexes. If the reflexes have not diminished, the brain cannot reach full development via the other therapies. They go hand in hand. It’s best to do these at home to save time and money, while your child goes through the other therapies. And please set up a plan with your therapist to reevaluate your child to confirm that the reflexes have been inhibited. The time it takes to get rid of these varies with every child. It depends on how bad they are, how well and how often he or she does them. It can take a few months to get rid of one reflex and a year to get rid of another. But the benefits are so worth it!
If you choose to help your loved one on your own with the therapies, rather than going through the Brain Balance program, the program is spelled out in the book, Disconnected Kids by Dr. Robert Melillo. He designed the Brain Balance program. The exercises in it are to be done in a one hour session, three times per week, in conjunction with the reflex exercises, which are to be done daily three times a day. The only thing that is really missing is the Interactive Metronome, which needs to be used during the one hour sessions. It is not a must, but results would be quicker and more effective using this tool. For more information on the Interactive Metronome, click here. For a demo, click here.
Here is a great “manual” for details on the reflexes. It’s called Reflexes, Learning and Behavior – A Window Into The Child’s Mind by Sally Goddard. It describes how to test for remaining reflexes, which is best left to a therapist to do, even though the exercises can be implemented easily at home. It also explains the effects that each reflex has on the body. Just assume, however, that if your child has autism, he probably has most, if not all, of his reflexes remaining. So if you don’t have a therapist to do the testing, then it won’t hurt to just do the reflex exercises anyway.
If there are stored up viruses, bacteria, Lyme Disease or its co-infections and/or mercury toxicity, there is a chance that they may cause it to take longer to inhibit some of these reflexes. Please see my Lyme and mercury page.