Neurological Dysfunction as a Significant Factor in Children with Dyslexia

Posted on July 29, 2014

Photo: flickr

It is an accepted medical fact that primitive reflexes should not persist above 6 months of age (12 months at the latest), and that postural reflexes should be fully developed by three-and-a- half years of age. Abnormalities in an individual's profile of primitive and postural reflexes at a later age provide reliable diagnostic signposts of central nervous system immaturity.

A sample of 54 children aged 8 - 15 years who had previously received a diagnosis of Dyslexia were examined for the presence of primitive and postural reflexes. An historical control was assumed on the basis of the accepted medical premise that primitive reflexes should not be present above 6 months of age and that postural reflexes should be developed by three and a half years of age. Additional tests were carried out to assess oculo motor functioning (control of eye movements), visual-perceptual performance, cerebellar involvement and dysdiadochokinesia (difficulty with rapid alternate movements).

Abnormal primitive and postural reflexes were found to be a significant underlying factor in this sample. The Asymmetrical Tonic Neck (ATNR) and Tonic Labyrinthine (TLR) reflexes were present in 100% of the sample. Both of these reflexes have a direct affect upon the functioning of the vestibular system (balance mechanism) and its connections to the centres which control eye movements. Other reflexes found to be significant were: The Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex, the Spinal Galant reflex, Palmar, Plantar and Rooting reflexes. Postural reflexes were also found to be under-developed.

*53% showed some signs of cerebellar involvement and 85% had difficulty with at least one of the tests for dysdiadochokinesia indicating poorly developed bilateral integration.
*92% of the sample demonstrated difficulties with oculo-motor skills, of which:
*83% had difficulty with visual tracking;
*59% had difficulty with near-point convergence (necessary to fuse the two separate images seen by each eye to send a single unified image to the brain);
*42% had difficulty with visual discrimination;
*77% showed evidence of stimulus bound effect
*98% had difficulty with hand-eye co-ordination

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Source material from Connecting Hypnotherapy

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