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.
|Journal||Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 15 Feb 2021|