top of page

DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS

Learn more about how developmental delays can impact visual development.

Developmental Pyramid

Developmental Pyramid

Retained primitive reflexes

Primitive reflexes are automatic, involuntary movements that are present in infants from birth. They are controlled by the brainstem and are essential for survival and early development. These reflexes typically emerge in utero or shortly after birth and gradually integrate as a child's nervous system matures. Primitive reflexes can impact various aspects of a child's development, including their motor skills and sensory processing, which in turn can have implications for vision development. Here are a few ways primitive reflexes can impact vision development:

  1. Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR): This reflex is triggered when an infant turns their head to one side. The arm and leg on the side the infant is facing extend, while the opposite arm and leg flex. If this reflex persists beyond its normal integration stage, it might lead to difficulties with eye-hand coordination and tracking objects with both eyes.

  2. Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR): This reflex is triggered when an infant flexes or extends their neck. If the STNR is not properly integrated, it can affect a child's ability to coordinate their eye movements and focus on objects at different distances.

  3. Moro Reflex: Often referred to as the "startle reflex," the Moro reflex is triggered by a sudden movement or loud noise. If this reflex persists, it might lead to heightened sensitivity to visual stimuli and difficulties with visual attention and focusing.

  4. Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR): This reflex is related to the position of the head in relation to gravity. It affects muscle tone in response to head movements. If not integrated properly, it could lead to challenges in maintaining appropriate head posture for visual tasks.

  5. Palmar Grasp Reflex and Plantar Grasp Reflex: These reflexes involve gripping with the hands and toes when pressure is applied to the palms or soles. If these reflexes persist, they might interfere with the development of fine motor skills necessary for activities like writing and manipulating objects, which can indirectly impact visual tasks that require precise hand-eye coordination.

  6. Babinski Reflex: This reflex causes the big toe to extend and the other toes to fan out when the sole of the foot is stroked. If the Babinski reflex is present beyond infancy, it could indicate neurological issues that might impact overall motor and sensory development, potentially including vision.

  7. Galant Reflex: This reflex causes an infant to arch their back and turn toward the side of their body that is stroked. If this reflex persists, it might affect postural control and balance, which are important for stable visual perception.

It's important to note that primitive reflexes are typically expected to integrate as a child grows and their central nervous system matures. If these reflexes persist beyond their normal timeframe, they might indicate underlying neurological issues or developmental delays. Addressing these issues through appropriate interventions can help promote proper sensory and motor development, which in turn can positively impact vision development and other aspects of a child's overall growth.

ATNR STNR

Importance of crawling

"Crawling" refers to the stage in a baby's development when they learn to move around on their hands and knees, typically occurring around 6 to 10 months of age. Crawling is an important milestone in a child's motor skill development, and it can have some impact on their overall development, including their vision. Here's how crawling may impact vision development:

  1. Visual Stimulation: Crawling provides infants with a different perspective of their environment compared to when they are lying down or sitting. This change in position allows them to see objects from a lower angle and encourages them to explore their surroundings. This increased visual stimulation can contribute to the development of their visual processing skills.

  2. Eye-Hand Coordination: Crawling involves coordinating movement of the hands and knees, which helps babies develop better eye-hand coordination. As they explore and reach for objects while crawling, they practice aligning their visual focus with their hand movements, which is an important skill for activities such as grasping and manipulating objects.

  3. Depth Perception: Crawling introduces a new level of depth perception. When a baby is on the move, they need to judge distances and depths more accurately to avoid obstacles and navigate their environment. This helps them refine their depth perception skills and understand spatial relationships.

  4. Visual Tracking: Crawling encourages babies to track moving objects with their eyes. As they explore their surroundings, they might follow objects or people as they move. This helps develop their ability to track moving objects smoothly, which is essential for activities like reading and playing sports.

  5. Binocular Vision: Crawling encourages the use of both eyes together, which is crucial for developing binocular vision – the ability to perceive depth and 3D structures. Binocular vision is important for tasks like judging distances accurately and perceiving the world in three dimensions.

  6. Peripheral Vision: While crawling, babies often need to look around and be aware of their surroundings to avoid obstacles. This can enhance their peripheral vision – the ability to see objects located outside of their central focus. Improved peripheral vision can be beneficial for activities that require awareness of the overall environment, like sports and navigation.

  7. Visual Exploration: Crawling gives babies the freedom to explore their environment more actively. They can move toward objects that capture their interest, inspect things more closely, and interact with their surroundings. This active exploration helps babies refine their visual processing skills and learn about object characteristics.

It's important to note that while crawling can positively impact vision development, every child's development is unique. Not all babies crawl in the traditional hands-and-knees manner, and some might skip crawling altogether or find alternative ways to move. Overall, the combination of crawling and other developmental experiences contributes to a child's holistic growth, including their motor skills, cognitive development, and sensory processing, including vision.

bottom of page