Neuromotor Readiness for School: the primitive reflex status of young children at the start and end of their first year at school in the United Kingdom

Sally Goddard Blythe, Rebecca Duncombe, Pat Preedy, Trish Gorely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The presence of primitive (infant) reflexes in school-aged children as indicators of immaturity in neuromotor functioning, has been associated with underachievement in terms of reading, writing and mathematics and been linked to conditions such as dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The research presented here explores the extent to which three such reflexes, previously linked to learning and behavioural difficulties in the classroom, were present in a sample of 120 children in the September that they started formal schooling (aged 4-5) in the United Kingdom (UK). Approximately half of these children then participated in a movement programme and 108 were then tested again towards the end of their first year at school. The data demonstrate that a high percentage of young children are, indeed, starting school with one or more of these reflexes retained to some extent. Those children who received no additional input throughout the school year showed no improvements in their reflex status when compared to children who had participated in a developmental movement programme. Thus, recommendations are made for further research; particularly in relation to neuromotor screening, appropriate physical development provision prior to and during school; and developmental movement interventions for older children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1895276
Number of pages15
JournalEducation 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education
Early online date8 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Primitive reflexes
  • neuromotor maturity
  • early years
  • foundation stage
  • physical development
  • educational achievement

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Neuromotor Readiness for School: the primitive reflex status of young children at the start and end of their first year at school in the United Kingdom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this