When a failure of development in the brainstem occurs in childhood, resulting in the reflex anomaly of retained Primitive Reflexes and subsequent under-development of the Postural Reflexes, it remains throughout life.
Many adults learn to make physical, mental and emotional compensations, managing the difficulties within the wider context of their lives. The degree and effect of these compensations will have different effects upon different adults.
Many become very successful, with only them appreciating the extent of their difficulty or dysfunction; or, maybe, so used to them by now that they no longer appreciate the difficulties they have.
So long as the reflex profile remains the same, the type of difficulty that the adult has will not change from those experienced by the child.
Many adults will continue to experience marked difficulties with reading, academic work and physical skills involving coordination, proprioception and balance; others with work and relationships, and yet others with self esteem and fitting into society. Sometimes agoraphobia and other related conditions, frequently termed neurotic, can be attributed to NDD.
As children grow up, the nervous system continues to develop and change, but if problems related to aberrant primitive reflexes are not corrected during childhood, the associated problems tend to grow up with them.
Abnormal primitive and postural reflexes represent a structural weakness in the functioning of the central nervous system (CNS) and can continue to undermine performance and resilience to certain type of stress in later life.
Children whose reflex abnormalities are present to a lesser degree can often compensate and appear to cope well with the demands of school and growing up.
The individual may be left at a disadvantage because compensation exacts a price, and that price is often paid in emotional functioning, self confidence and the ability to cope with the increasing amounts of stress.
The presence of a cluster of aberrant primitive reflexes (NDD), which persist into later life, can predispose an individual to be more prone to stress.
This is because increased cortical involvement is required to support the basic functions of posture, balance, control of movement and perception, and to compensate, cover up or ‘override’ the underlying weaknesses.
The cortex, over-involved in the processing of information normally screened by lower centres, can become ‘overloaded’. This can in turn, affect cognitive processing, cognitive attribution and somatic (of the body) affect.
Individuals with immature reflexes are particularly prone to experience stress when readjustment is required in an area of weakness. Holmes and Rahe (1967).
If you feel that what you have read refers to you as an adult please do complete the Adult Screening Questionnaire.