Retained Primitive Reflexes - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Retained Primitive Reflexes

AlltheLegos profile image

We just got back from the optometrist for my son's (8) first check up. The Dr. said he noticed some retained primitive reflexes and said that vision therapy could help. After doing a little reading, there's some research linking those reflexes with ADHD. Has anyone had success with vision therapy, or another kind of therapy, to integrate reflexes? Did you noticed an improvement in ADHD symptoms?

10 Replies

I recommend he see an MD- An Opthomologist can give you a second opinion. If you can ask how this condirion would impact his ability to see and use his vision. Good luck!

If your son needs assistance with this issue the school Occupational therapist can assess to see if this will impact his learning.

Yes. We have done an amazing course on infant reflex integration which has begun to help in a number of ways and will be starting visual therapy as well. My daughter (9) has a strong unintegrated Moro (startle) reflex which means she’s often startled and this triggers her stress response system and so she’s constantly in fight/flight (but mostly) fight mode, which contributes to her outbursts. It makes total sense to me. It takes a long time to see results, but we are seeing them. Her reading in one year went from being behind in her grade to reading sight words 4 grades higher, we eliminated her need to constantly be chewing on things, and her eye-hand coordination is getting better. You can learn more about this work, take the course, test your child, and do the movements with them here:

My daughter had a unintegrated Moro reflex and went to a pediatric OT for about a year. She was about 10 years old at the time. I was surprised to learn about the retained Moro. It seem to help her. She also saw a pediatric OT when she was 3 years old until about 4.5 yrs old for Sensory Processing Disorder too. She will be 13 in October. I am unaware of the connection to vision and unintegrated reflexes, but it’s not surprising. So maybe look into a pediatric OT as well? Hugs to you.🙂

Partyof6 profile image
Partyof6 in reply to tacos1234

How is your daughter’s sensory processing now? Was OT able to help?

tacos1234 profile image
tacos1234 in reply to Partyof6

Yes. Pediatric OT helped with the SPD.She had therapy for about 18 months. I was also doing Hippotherapy (horse back riding)and she had Speech therapy for about 3 years. She was 3 when she started the OT. She will be 13 in October. She went to OT again for the un-integrated Moro reflex when she was about 10 yrs old for another year.

Following this post. We just found out our son (7) has retained Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex, left and right, and Galant Reflex. He also has Sensory Processing Disorder. We’re going to be starting OT weekly. I also read about retained reflexes having many the same symptoms as ADHD so I’m hoping to see some improvement. Fingers crossed.

My son did vision therapy for 8 months. He went 2 days a week for 30 minutes a session. I wouldn't say he had an improvement in his symptoms. I would say that some of the symptoms we thought were ADHD, were actually difficulties in his vision. For example, his vision interfered with his reading of course. His left eye moves faster than his right, and he would say it was "jumping" around the page when he tried to read. Of course that made reading quite difficult. Avoiding reading was a symptom, trying to guess what the text said, reading really fast, and then not comprehending. All of that was attributed to ADHD. It was a vision struggle. So, I would highly suggest to all parents and teachers - don't just accept and assume that symptoms are this or that disorder. Really seek out the physical conditions behind it. If reading is a weakness, go to a specialist for vision. We went to a regular eye doctor and they told us his vision was great. He then struggled for another 2 years before someone told me about vision therapy. At the end of vision therapy, his doctor prescribed glasses for reading. So now, the idea is that the glasses will ease the difficulties he was having and he doesn't revert back to the same eye problems. Vision therapy helped him, but it wasn't a miracle fix and it was a big time commitment and it cost a lot. However, it helped him physically work through some difficulties. I'm trying to do that methodically with my son. I seek the physical attributes behind these symptoms and it's not easy!

I am just curious.. did you have an educational plan for your child? 504 or IEP. If so I wonder why a reading specialist did not help your child. Learning is so much more than vision.

A good reading Specialist, can help a child due many aspects of reading better. Often children who struggle need to be taught how physically to read and it is life changing.

Best to you and your child.

Yes, he had an IEP since 3rd grade. He was diagnosed in 2nd. He also had a reading specialist from 2nd grade through to 4th grade. It took us 3 years to get the school to not use the reading assessment that is standard in our county and to give him an alternative to compare against. It was a long and hard road for him and for us. It was after having a reading specialist for those 3 years that we tried vision therapy. I'm sure the reading specialist helped in some ways, but he needed more than that. His reading comprehension was always the biggest struggle. His fluency improved slowly with time.

Thanks.. I am always concerned when children struggle, it is great your child got help.

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