If a primitive reflex is unable to develop connections appropriately, or a defensive reflex is activated without resolution, they can remain “locked” in the system. The reflex persists in a state of limbo where the patterned motor and behavioural reactions are continually being triggered, without completing the differentiation process. We can release these reflexes from their locked state through specific movement and rewiring activities.
The degree to which reflexes are unintegrated can vary greatly. There is a wide spectrum between mild and severely inappropriate reflex activity, and each individual has a different “profile”. Even individuals who are very high functioning usually have some minimally retained reflex activity and can notice improvements in function once reflexes are integrated more fully. For individuals with more severe challenges, the level of reflex activity is often more pronounced. Reflex activity that is not integrated can adversely affect neuromuscular coordination, sensory perception, emotions, and the ability to think & express oneself clearly.