Primitive Reflexes Assessment and Integration

Baby hand being held by adult handAt InSight Vision Therapy, we take a developmental approach to our vision therapy program. For that reason, we want to make sure the patient’s visual system has matured from all developmental levels. For this reason, we assess certain primitive reflexes (that developed in-utero and early post-natal) that may still be hindering the visual development process. If primitive reflexes are still retained (or present), the patient will be given a series of movement activities to integrate them. This gives the patient control over their movement and cognitive process!

We assess the following primitive reflexes

  • Moro – the startle reflex
    If retained, may lead to anxiety, excessive reactions, difficulty with ball sports.
  • Tonic Labrinthine Reflex – leads to the head-righting reflex
    If retained, may lead to balance problems, poor body coordination, difficulty with eye tracking or convergence.
  • Spinal Galant – high sensitivity along the spine
    If retained, may lead to fidgeting, sensitivity to tags in clothing and bed wetting.
  • Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex – leads to crawling and cross-pattern movement
    If retained, may lead to difficulty crossing midline, poor handwriting and poor expression of ideas on paper, eye tracking problems.
  • Symmetric Tonic Neck Reflex – helps the visual system aim near to far
    If retained, may lead to poor posture when writing, poor eye-hand coordination, problems refocusing from distance to near, clumsy, W-sitting.
  • Palmar Reflex – grasping reflex seen in infants
    If retained, may lead to poor handwriting or speech delays

For more information, download the Primitive Reflexes paper by Sally Goddard, et al.

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Syntonics (Optometric Phototherapy)

Light prisimSyntonics, or optometric phototherapy, is the branch of ocular science dealing with the application of selected light frequencies through the eyes. It is used to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system. For example, following a head trauma most patients have an increased sympathetic (fight-or-flight) response. Specific wavelengths (colors) of light can be utilized to calm their system. Syntonics is also used in the treatment of strabismus (turned eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye), focusing and convergence problems. Specifically, syntonics is used to enlarge the “functional” visual field of patients. Constrictions in this field can affect visual processing, coordination, and learning.

At InSight Vision Therapy, we utilize this phototherapy in the office and/or as part of home therapy, depending on the needs of the patient. To learn more, visit the College of Syntonic Optometry website.

Dr. Carter describes how syntonics helped one of her young concussion patients.

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Vivid Vision

Young girl with a VR-like headsetOur office utilizes state-of-the-art virtual reality technology for vision therapy, called Vivid Vision. This system is particularly useful for patients with strabismus and amblyopia, providing opportunities for them to see with both eyes together. Using this system, we have already had patients achieving depth perception for the first time! Newswatch 12 came to our office to cover the story.

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