The ability to learn well, focus, concentrate and even have a positive mood is connected to posture more than you might realise. When you consider that when you are interested in something, you tend to lean in and sit up straighter, this doesn’t seem as far-fetched.
The Landau reflex is known to help the body respond to gravity and is all about developing good posture, focus and memory.
As an infant is able to lift the upper part of their body, it not only prevents a child from smothering but assists with developing the muscles necessary for that oh so important milestone – crawling.
How the Landau Builds the Brain
The Landau reflex develops gross motor skills as well as communication between the top and bottom as well as front and back parts of the body. As an infant lifts their body off the ground, their near vision becomes more finely trained. The reflex assists with fine tuning vestibular skills as well as 3D vision and detecting vertical and horizontal lines.
Often referred to as the ‘joy reflex’, an integrated Landau reflex increases feelings of joy, confidence and a more optimistic view of the world.
ADHD & How the Landau Affects Focus, Memory and Executive Functioning
This reflex should integrate by 12 months of age. If this reflex fails to integrate then there may be a lack of stimulation to the prefrontal cortex.
When this occurs, executive function skills like focus, planning, organization, concentration, impulse control, decision making and more can be affected – many of the areas that are involved with ADHD.
When unintegrated this reflex can show similar signs to a retained Spinal Galant Reflex with poor focus and ability to sit still. It is not uncommon for both of these reflexes to be retained.
Short term memory is also impacted when this reflex is retained. This might look like your child learning phonics sounds or math facts at school and then not remembering them by dinner or the next day in class.
The Impact of Motor Coordination & Learning
Like so many reflexes where the integration or ‘disappearance’ of one infant reflex assists with the integration of another, the Landau reflex needs to be integrated in order for the Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR) to integrate.
Since this reflex helps with coordinating the upper and lower part of the body, an unintegrated Landau can affect coordination and balance as well as hand-eye coordination that is so important for fluent reading and writing.
This poor coordination and balance can also lead to clumsiness since there is often low muscle tone in the back of the body as well as tension in the calve muscles which can lead to a child preferring to walk on their toes.
Signs of a Retained Landau Reflex:
- Depression, anxiety, low-self esteem
- Weak organization skills
- Poor coordination
- Poor short-term memory
- Hard time sitting up, poor posture
- Difficult to stay focus and give full attention
- Lack of concentration
- Vision difficulties (near vision and 3-D)
- Knees extend backward slightly, tense muscles in back of leg
- Problems to coordinate upper and lower body muscles
- Low muscle tone especially in back and neck
- Hard to keep head upright
Checking to see if the Landau is retained:
While physical tests are never something you want to rely on as a definite answer, when combined with checking the above signs – you can get a pretty good idea if the reflex is retained.
Ask your child to lay on their belly on the floor with their arms straight in front of them. Next, they need to lift the upper half of their body off the ground while their legs and feet remain on the ground. (Think modified superman)
If they have a hard time keeping their feet on the floor, the Landau reflex is mostly likely retained.
To learn more about how to improve your child’s learning, reading and behaviour so they can regain their confidence and reach their full potential, book a free Clarity Call to find out if my 6-month program the Full Potential Formula is right for your child.
Brandie Blondes – Symphony of Reflexes
Harald Bomberg M.D. – The Rhythmic Movement Method
Sally Goddard Blythe – Attention, Balance and Coordination