The Moro Reflex is the foundation of all sensory system integration. Without integration of the Moro Reflex we see children with hypersensitivities and imbalances in their sensory system. The Moro is the only reflex stimulated through both movement of the head and environmental sensory stimuli. This reflex enables our body to understand where it is in space; giving us a sense of safety & security. It may also be responsible for developing muscle tone.
The Moro Reflex is considered a gateway for inhibition of three other reflexes. It is recommended to always integrate Moro Reflex when any reflex work is suspected to be helpful.
Common Symptoms of an unintegrated Moro Reflex Include:
- frequent tantrums
- startles easily
- hypersensitive to noise, temperature, pain
- minimal eye contact
- irrational fears; emotional lability
- periods of hyperactivity followed by fatigue
- motion sickness
- fight or flight
- easily distracted
- has difficulty tuning out background noise
- difficulty with change; loves routine
For older children, have them walk forward and backward in a “duck walk” – feet turned inwards; and “pigeon walk” – feet turned outwards. If during the walk you observe any of the following, the reflex is retained:
- inability to turn feet outward or inward
- any upper body movement, such as bending forward
- movement in the hands & arms mimicking the feet
- rotation of the hips or upper body
- awkward extension of upper back
- inability to walk smoothly; walking stiff
A secondary way to test all ages of children is by having them lie supine on the ground with a small cushion/pillow underneath their shoulders in order to elevate their head above the ground. Tester should support their head in your hands, approximately 2 inches above the level of the spine. Have the child close their eyes if possible. After a few moments, tester will allow the child’s head to drop 2-3 inches to just below the level of the spine, but not touching the floor, in a quick manner. (Please keep the head supported). The test is positive (unintegrated reflex) if the child’s arms move outwards away from the body; or there is any delay or distress during the test.
If any of these sound like your child, there is a possibility they may need their Moro 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.