Primitive Reflex Integration and Child Development

Kokeb McDonald, OTR/L · December 17, 2022

The first course in our RITP Certification program, an introductory course to learn the basics of Primitive Reflexes and how to apply them to your OT therapy practice.

What will you learn?

At the end of the course, you will be able to…

  • List the benefits and functions of primitive reflexes
  • ​Recognize the milestones of primitive reflex integration within developmental milestones 
  • ​Recognize how primitive reflexes influence common functional activities in children
  • ​Identify possible movements to be conducted as part of a reflex integration treatment plan to improve specific functional activities.
  • ​Recognize common signs and symptoms of retained reflexes observed in the classroom and the playground
  • ​Recognize how retained reflexes affect developmental maturation, and sensory processing
  • ​List key developmental milestones and functional properties of the brain.

What are Primitive Reflexes?

Reflexes are normal, involuntary movement patterns that promote motor learning and sensory integration. Most reflexes become integrated into a pattern of movement after infancy. However, sometimes, reflexes do not become easily integrated and interfere with a child’s ability to develop an appropriate foundation for stability and mobility. A child may learn faulty and adaptive movement patterns that interfere with foundations to be successful.

How are they related to functional outcomes?

Retained reflexes contribute to motor delays, sensory processing issues, behavioral problems, poor visual processing skills, poor auditory processing skills, hyperactivity, poor attention, health issues, or learning difficulties.

These are all directly related to functional outcomes we seek to improve in our OT clients.

How Do I Integrate Retained Reflexes?

To integrate reflexes, take a child through the foundational movements their brain needs to integrate their retained reflexes, resulting in healthy, well-adapted movement patterns, and improving specific functional activities.

This course will teach you the basics of primitive reflexes, how to use them in your functional assessments of clients and a basic understanding of how reflex integration techniques can help your clients reach their OT goals.

This online course is designed for Occupational and Physical Therapists, Occupational and Physical Therapy Assistants, and other pediatric service providers. CEUs awarded after successful completion of course materials and an 80% or better score on quizzes.

Want to Enroll?

This course is part of the Reflex Integration Through Play™ certification program. For pediatric OTs and service providers, our 5-step program will give you the knowledge, tools, and experience to confidently help your clients reach their developmental goals with less stress, while having more fun.

About Instructor

Kokeb McDonald, OTR/L

I'm a pediatric occupational therapist, author, and coach with a strong passion for helping people develop into their healthiest selves. As a mother of two wonderful children, I bring genuine care and compassion to my mission to transform occupational therapy. As the creator of the Reflex Integration Through Play method and book series, I created these resources not only because they offer fellow professionals a tool to expand their clinical reach, but also because they are empowering and reassuring tools for frustrated parents. Join me in learning to better serve the children around us.

15 Courses

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Course Includes

  • 20 Lessons
  • 56 Topics
  • 11 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate
  • 0.45 AOTA CEUs
  • 4.5 Contact Hours

AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.