Telltale signs

Some of the telltale signs of retained reflexes 

Gross  Motor   Difficulty riding a bike 

 Lack of sports skills 

 Prone to clumsiness   Awkward running style 

Fine Motor

Difficulty with buttons and shoelaces

Awkward pencil grip Poor handwriting  Immature drawing 


Looses place easily when reading  

Slow at copying

Difficulty catching balls confidently

Difficulty remembering things in order


Over anxious and  fearful of failure 

Poor social skills and low self esteem

Dislike of change, likes routine 

Sensitive to loud noises 


Poor reading and spelling skills

Poor expression of  thoughts on paper

Short term memory difficulties  Disorganised and lagging behind peers in reading, writing, spelling and comprehension 

Other indicators can be: 

  • A history of occupational therapy or speech therapy 
  • Crawling late or failure to crawl
  • Late development of walking  
  • Bedwetting (sometimes) 

Retained reflexes and learning challenges 

The challenges of retatined reflexes are clearly seen in the classroom, children struggle to keep up with the rest of their class and behavioural difficulties can arise. Children can just get by or only succeed with great effort. Children with retained reflexes are at risk of behaviour and attitude problems, mostly due to years of sheer frustration

Children with reflex challenges grow into adults with reflex challenges. This can limit their career choices or force them to have to work extremely hard in order to succeed. The children most able to cope develop skills to compensate. Compensation takes effort and energy, as those with retained reflexes may simply run out of energy when stressed and this leaves them less able to cope. 

As we age we have less energy to compensate with and reflexes begin to reappear in reverse order. As this happens frustrations emerge due to the huge effort required to do daily tasks. 

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