Recent course question: Is the Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR) ever fully integrated, or is it constant presence throughout our lives?
The ATNR typically is inhibited by the age of 3.5 years. However when a lack of alternating head, trunk and appendage movement occurs, because of visual, auditory or tactile sensory orientation that reinforces homo-lateral movement, the retention of this primitive reflex can have an impact on behavioral formation of the body on rotation indefinitely.
Some of the retained symptoms include postural imbalance when the head is turned, difficulty in cross pattern movement of the trunk where one arm needs to move toward the controlled leg, hand-eye coordination difficulty over focus attention of the visual system, visual perception difficulties, cognitive learning challenges, excessive wrist and ankle tone visually on the right side, and bilateral functional integration difficulties in general.
The ATNR, like other reflexes that are considered to be associated with vision can be triggered or stimulated reflexively to some degree anytime in life when bilateral or alternating function is challenged by over referencing homo-lateral anti gravitational or positional strategies.