To my surprise, the therapist explained that not only did he not have ADHD, he had retained some of his primitive reflexes and this was a really common issue that is often misdiagnosed as ADHD. And these retained reflexes could be responsible for a lot of the things that were getting him in trouble at school and at home. Wait, what?
Reflexes are muscle movements that happen unconsciously to certain stimuli. For example, you pull away your hand if it gets burnt on the hair-straightener. Babies are born with a set of these reflexes and they are called ‘primitive reflexes’ because they originate from the most primitive part of the brain.
They are hard-wired into our system to protect us from harm in infancy and to prepare us for later development changes like sitting and crawling. In fact, that’s why these steps are so important in a baby’s development. (My son crawled briefly but was up running at 10 months old).
What struck me is that often, a child is labelled as having behavioural problems or being disruptive in school when in fact, they can’t help themselves.
Our therapist explained that my son involuntary might kick his feet under the desk, while sitting in school. It seems like he is being ‘difficult’ or ‘disruptive,’ but the reality is that the poor love doesn’t even realise what he’s doing – it is involuntary.
In the school line, he might look around, and slightly lose balance because of another reflex called the Symmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR). It looks to the teacher like he is pushing in the line when, in fact, he has just fallen forward. The more it was explained to me, the more I realised how this was impacting every part of my son’s life.
Here is more information on retained reflexes
Read the entire article; I think you will find it as interesting as I did.
UPDATE: I was contacted by the President and Founder of CogniTune, LLC
(“Smarter Health”), who asked me if I would provide a link to their article, “12 Best Adderall Alternatives: Natural Over the Counter ADHD Substitutes”, and I agreed to do so. If you are interested, please clink this LINK.