SYMMETRICAL TONIC NECK REFLEX (STNR)

The STNR emerges at 6-9 months of age and should be integrated at 9-11 months. This reflex helps the baby get up on hands and knees from a prone position(lying on belly), and use its upper and lower body independently.STNR Image

The reflex is demonstrated when the child pulls himself up from the floor and sits with arms extended and knees tucked under (bottom resting on ankles) making a rocking motion. It is the rocking motion that integrates the STNR so that crawling on hands and knees can take place.

The STNR helps develop visual accommodation(the ability to change focus from near to far) through the rocking motion and the infant looking down at the floor and up ahead.

STNR assists in the development of TLR and is considered a transitory reflex. It also closely interconnected with the ATNR.

 

Characteristics and effects of a retained STNR:

  • may not be able to coordinate the upper and lower body to crawl
  • may have poor standing posture, slouched shoulders, bent knees
  • may have poor sitting posture, wraps legs around chair legs, or sits with legs tucked under his bottom
  • prefers to sit or lie on floor when watching TV or doing homework
  • poor hand-eye coordination (messy eating, trouble catching a ball)
  • trouble swimming(difficulty coordinating the body)
  • often results in farsightedness

 

How does a retained STNR reflex affect my child’s learning?

  • difficulty copying from the blackboard due to lack of visual accommodation(book-blackboard-book)
  • incomplete notes due to slow speed of taking notes from board
  • fatigue from extra effort required to read from the board
  • poor concentration from trying to find a comfortable and effective sitting position
  • may have trouble with vertical eye tracking(necessary for math)
  • decreased understanding and quality of work due to missed information

 

If this sounds like your child, there is a high possibility that their STNR reflex needs to integrated so they can move forward.