Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR)

The STNR is not a primitive reflex; it is a bridging or transitional reflex. It is an important developmental stage that helps the baby transition from lying on the floor up to being able to creep/crawl.  To be able to do this the baby needs to have been successful in unlinking the automatic movement of the head from the automatic movement of the arms and legs. If the STNR remains active it is another main cause of inability to function well in school.  This is because up and down head movements remain linked to arm and leg movements, making school work effortful and difficult.

Some possible long term effects of an unintegrated STNR are:

  • Poor, hunched posture
  • Headaches from muscle tension in the neck
  • Difficulty writing and reading
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • “W” sitting
  • Difficulty copying from blackboard
  • Ape-like walking
  • Vision disorders
  • Find it difficult to stay on task

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