The rooting reflex is important for the child to learn to feed. The infants head will turn towards the stroke of a cheek, responding to the stimulus for feeding. The rooting and grasping reflex are linked during infancy. Sometimes you will notice a child’s mouth moving while writing or performing other fine motor tasks.
Common symptoms of an unintegrated Rooting Reflex include:
- excessive drooling
- speech delay
- movement of mouth while writing or using hands
- difficulty in social situations
- trouble with tongue movements
To Test Rooting Reflex:
To test the reflex you will gently stroke your child’s cheek from ear down towards the mouth using a gentle tool (pictured I’m using the back of a paint brush; you can also use eraser side of a pencil, back of a toothbrush, etc). Do this several times from different angles. If you notice the reflex active only on one side of the face this may be indicative of a brain hemispheric imbalance. If notice any of the following the reflex is unintegrated:
- twitching or slight movement of the mouth, cheek, eyes
- movement of the head away from the object
- hand movement
- tongue movement
If any of these sound like your child, there is a possibility they may need their Rooting Reflex integrated in order to improve their function.
Contact us today to get your child started on a program to integrate their reflexes and improve their function.