What is The Palmer/Grasp Reflex?
In a baby, when you place your finger in his palm, the fingers will close and hold on. This reflex goes back in evolution to when babies clung on to their mother for safety.
If the reflex does not integrate properly the child could have problems with hand and finger control, poor pencil grip, hand writing and hypersensitivity of the hand.
Due to this reflex’s association with the Rooting and Sucking Reflex, this child may often also dribble profusely and suffer delayed speech and articulation. You can often see the child’s mouth and tongue move when they are writing and drawing.
Some symptoms of a non-integrated Palmer/Grasp Reflex
Using a small soft ball first squeeze with all fingers including thumb 20 times. Both hands, twice daily
Ask child to do push ups start with ONE push up twice daily and build by 1 push up each day up to 10-15 push ups twice daily.
Wheel Barrow hold child above ankle and while keeping the spine straight ask child to ‘walk’ forwards using their hands. Do this for 1-2 minutes. Twice daily
Ask child to firmly press each finger to the thumb, creating a circular shape (pincer grip) not finger pad pressed against one another. Repeat 5 times for each finger. Both hands twice daily.
Ask child to use the thumb to circle each finger 3-5 times, try to avoid touching the finger. All fingers on both hands, twice daily.
Using a brush or pen firmly stroke the palm in the shape on an X, continue to Draw X’s 20 times or until you can no longer elicit the reflex. Repeat twice daily. Further integration can be done by drawing the letters of the Alphabet and Shapes and ask the child (eyes closed) to guess the shape and or letter/numbers.
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