Dates: on-going/on-demand

Online course with instructor: Kara Rice, MOT, OTR/L

Course Overview:

Primitive reflexes are automatic movements that occur during infancy through 12-18 months of age. They help infants survive, stay safe, and help develop the brain stem, or foundation of our nervous system. Primitive reflexes are stimulated in infancy through movement in response to sensory information. The two are intertwined together and integrate together in the early years of our life. A child whose foundation in primitive reflex movement & senses are not fully integrated will have trouble with higher level skills such as learning, attention/focus, coordination, balance, speech, auditory processing, and more. The nervous system relies on primitive reflex maturity and an intact sensory system in order to move up the pyramid of development. Once the foundation is strong (depicted in image below), motor perceptual skills and higher-level learning (or executive functioning) can occur. Once we “re-wire” the brain through neuro-developmental movements, balance the brain and integrate reflexes, the motor system is able to catch up. Developing the motor & sensory systems using a bottom-up approach is essential for improving learning, behavior, and social skills.

The Brain Connex Therapy Professional Training course helps educate in:

  • How to assess, test, and integrate the core primitive reflexes. 
  • The benefits of adding neurodevelopmental movements and how to apply them. 
  • How to identify if a child has an imbalance in their brain hemispheres.
  • How to treat a brain imbalance using sensory stimulation and progressions to that stimulation.
  • How to differentiate which program works best for which child.
  • How to assess, test, and integrate five additional primitive reflexes.
  • Research on primitive reflex integration and brain balance techniques.
  • How to put all the information together to create your own program, online course, or apply within your practice setting.

Learning Objectives: Brain Connex Professional Training:

Module One:

  1. Describe primitive reflexes and how they are related to dysfunction
  2. Explain the relationship between primitive reflexes and the sensory system
  3. Articulate how the Pyramid of Development & Learning can be used as the theory for treatment
  4. Compare the Top-down treatment with the Bottom-up approach
  5. Differentiate traditional medical treatment from neurologically-based treatment
  6. Define Brain Connex Therapy’s 4-step approach
  7. Discuss an Introduction to living a “Brain Healthy Lifestyle”
  8. Identify retained reflex symptoms in sample checklists and questionnaires 

Module Two:

  1. Review research related to primitive reflexes, learning & development
  2. Demonstrate how to physically test tonic neck reflexes and assess symptoms
  3. Practice how to integrate tonic neck reflexes via active movements
  4. Determine how to integrate tonic neck reflexes via passive movements
  5. Clarify modifications and alternative exercises for some reflexes
  6. Determine that tonic neck reflexes include: ATNR, TLR, STNR + Moro and FPR 

Module Three:

  1. Conclude why we typically start all children with the “core” 9-10 primary reflex exercises
  2. Demonstrate how to physically test supporting reflexes and assess symptoms
  3. Explore how to integrate supporting reflexes via active movements
  4. Explore how to integrate supporting reflexes via passive movements
  5. Explain modifications and alternative exercises for some reflexes
  6. Determine that supporting reflexes include: Rooting Reflex, Palmar Reflex, Babinski, Spinal Galant, and Landau. 

Module Four:

  1. Figure out how & why we use neuro-developmental movements (infantile movements) and when they are appropriate for your client
  2. Discover how neuro-developmental movements help to change the brain using a whole body approach, and help integrating reflexes
  3. Examine why vision is so important when it comes to brain development & the sensory system
  4. Discover standard visual exercises we use in conjunction with reflex integration to attain better results
  5. Review case studies using reflex integration techniques

Module Five:

  1. Discover the history of how brain hemispheric integration treatment began
  2. Articulate what the term “functional disconnection” means and the theory behind the treatment style
  3. Examine research related to functional disconnection and its connection to several conditions
  4. Categorize how we assess brain hemispheric weakness via checklists, and physical trait assessments
  5. Acquire basic neurological testing skills to give you additional objective information on your clients

Module Six:

  1. Demonstrate how to assess the sensory systems: tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory, vestibular and proprioceptive using sensory checklists and physical testing
  2. Ascertain how to stimulate the weaker brain hemisphere to create balance by engaging the sensory systems; visual, auditory, tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive, and smell.
  3. Discover simple techniques that can be done with minimal equipment (good for home treatment) as well as more advanced techniques that require more expensive equipment (good for clinic treatment).
  4. Determine how to implement a full brain hemispheric integration therapy treatment plan

Module Seven:

  1. Detect the anatomical and neurological reason why the cerebellum holds the key to cerebral function
  2. Identify how stimulation of vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive systems is the trifecta for developing the cerebellum
  3. Explore why internal timing & rhythm is important for brain processing
  4. Discover basic therapeutic activities for R/L integration, cerebellum development and how you can tailor your own
  5. Examine the ‘why’ behind brain healthy lifestyle factors: movement, outdoors, free play, screen time, nutrition, sleep, and stress.

Module Eight:

  1. Summarize what we have learned so far in areas of brain development, treatment, and research
  2. Discuss ways to implement treatment in a variety of settings (school, group, private, clinic, virtual)
  3. Review case studies using the Brain Connex approach and how we see results more quickly
  4. Clarify modifications to treatment plans for specific conditions and situations
  5. Detail ways to motivate family (kids and adults) to stick with the routine

AGENDA:

Hours 1-1.5: we present education in brain development and primitive reflex integration and how it’s related to the sensory systems and treatment for children with developmental delays, neurological conditions, and learning challenges. Research that supports its use and the difference between a neurologically-based approach vs. traditional therapies.

Hours 1.5 – 2: we learn how to test, assess symptoms, and integrate the primitive reflexes that are inherently connected with the sensory systems via vestibular and visual input: Moro, Fear Paralysis, Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex, Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex, and Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex.

Hours 2 – 3: we learn how to test, assess symptoms, and integrate additional primitive reflexes that are inherently connected with the sensory systems via the Tactile systems and whole body coordination: Rooting Reflex, Palmar Reflex, Babinski, Spinal Galant, and Landau.

Hours 3 – 4: we present additional treatments, and a few additional reflexes, that can support proper neurological development. These treatments are helpful for some children to activate reflexes through neuro-developmental movement. We include education in head righting reflexes, log rolls, creeping, crawling, basic rhythmic-based movements and vision exercises.

Hours 4 – 5.5: we introduce Brain Hemispheric Integration, or what many refer to as “brain balance” history and techniques. How to assess brain imbalance via physical testing and master checklists.

Hours 5.5 – 7: we learn how to stimulate the weaker brain hemisphere to create balance by engaging the sensory systems; visual, auditory, tactile, vestibular, proprioceptive, and smell. We present simple techniques that can be done with minimal equipment (good for home treatment) as well as more advanced techniques that require more expensive equipment (good for clinic treatment).

Hours 7 – 8: we present cerebellar activities that connect right to left brain to achieve full horizontal & vertical integration in the body system. These activities are numerous — we lay the groundwork for what needs to be involved in the movement so you can be creative with your clients activities. We also dig a little deeper into Brain Lifestyle Optimization and it’s importance in neuroplasticity.

Hours 8 – 9: we put all of the information together and discuss how treatment can look in-person and virtually. We discuss FAQ’s about how to educate parents on the movements, how to motivate un-motivated children, and how to individualize programs for children based on case studies we’ll discuss.


Financial Disclosure: Kara Rice receives payment upon participant enrollment. 

Non-financial Disclosure: Kara Rice – No relevant relationship exists.

Special Needs Requests: If you require special accommodations, please notify Brain Connex Therapy at brainconnex@gmail.com at the time of registration so that needed accommodations can be made prior to the course.

Course Completion Requirements: Completion of all modules + the accompanying quiz/homework + professional feedback form is required to receive a certificate of completion and any available credit hours or CEUs.

Target audience: Speech Language Pathologists, Speech Language Pathologist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, Nurses, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Educators, Psychologists, Physicians, Massage Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, Other Health Care Providers, Parents.

Assessments: On line Courses: Self Assessment, Quizzes, Homework