Chiropractic care for children with behavioural or learning difficulties

Did you know that when a baby is in the womb, his or her nervous system is one of automatic reflexes that innately help the baby survive and grow from conception through to birth and throughout the first year of their life? These reflexes are called Neonatal Reflexes.

by Dr May Ghabach

Now what should happen is that by the age of one, these reflexes should mostly become integrated into the higher centres of the brain (the thinking brain or frontal cortex). This means that things go from being automatic reflexes to being thought out movements and actions. The thinking brain takes over the primitive brain.

Unfortunately for some kids this development is obstructed and the neonatal reflexes become retained. This retention can cause an array of developmental problems. Some signs of retained reflexes are delayed crawling and walking, difficulty sitting and supporting head and neck, co-ordination problems, delayed speech and a malady of behavioural issues like night terrors, tantrums, anxiety and hyper-sensitivity. Below are some specific symptoms of some of the reflexes.

Fear Paralysis Reflex:

  • Withdrawn
  • Shy
  • Anxious
  • Night terrors

Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR)

  • Poor coordination
  • Messy handwriting
  • Poor pencil grip
  • Can’t catch balls

Moro Reflex 

  • Tantrums
  • Over-reactive
  • Sensitive
  • Easily Distracted
  • Aggressive

Spinal Galant Reflex

  • Can’t sit still (ants in pants)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor bladder control (bedwetting)

Why children retain these reflexes can be due to a number of reasons. Premature birth, birth injury, stressful pregnancy or birth, caesarean section, chronic ear infections or other recurrent infections can be some of the causes.

Luckily, Chiropractors have studied and developed methods to help integrate these primitive reflexes into the higher centres of the brain. Using applied kinesiology, we are able to assess the child and treat these reflexes using gentle chiropractic adjustments, cranial therapy, neuroemotional techniques and nutritional kinesiology. Exercises that help further enhance neural integration are also greatly encouraged.

Children of all ages benefit from chiropractic care. Children who have ADHD, ADD, Autism, dyslexia, speech delay, or learning difficulties (just to list a few) show excellent signs of improvement with chiropractic care addressing the retained neonatal reflexes. Parents and teachers report that the children are calmer more focused and more co-operative post chiropractic treatment. Tasks feel a little easier, effort is greater, and most importantly the child is happier. Emotions are better controlled and brain function improves. So, with chiropractic care the body restores the child’s ability to do what children should do, and ultimately lead happy healthy lives.

So, if you feel your child would benefit from Chiropractic care give us a call today!


Book a session with Dr May:



02 9606 9688
12B, 633-639 Hume Highway, Casula

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Gregory Hills

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