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Articles on Movement

AD/HD Linked to Retained Primitive Reflexes
from International Journal of Special Education
The present research studied the symptomatologic overlap of AD/HD behaviours and retention of four primitive reflexes (Moro, TonicLabyr inthine Reflex [TLR], Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex [ATNR], Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex [STNR]) in 109 boys aged 7-10 years. Of these, 54 were diagnosed with AD/HD, 34 manifested subsyndromal coordination, learning, emotional and/or behavioural symptoms of AD/HD, and 21 had no (or near to no) symptoms of AD/HD. Measures of AD/HD symptomatology and of the boys’ academic performance were also obtained using the Conners’ rating scale and the WRAT-3, respectively. Results indicated that, in general, boys diagnosed with AD/HD had significantly higher levels of reflex retention than non-diagnosed boys. Results also indicated both direct and indirect relationships between retention of the Moro, ATNR, STNR and TLR reflexes with AD/HD symptomatology and mathematics achievement. The pattern of relationships between these variables  also consistent with the notion of the Moro acting as a gateway for the inhibition of the other three reflexes.
Can Replicating Primary Reflex Movements Improve Reading Ability?
by Timothy Wahlberg, PhD, Dennis Ireland, OD, MEd
Background: Poorly integrated and inhibited primitive reflexes can impact an individual’s visual development, balance system and academic performance, most notably in the area of reading. Children diagnosed with reading learning disabilities were assessed in the areas of oculomotilities, tonic reflexes, balance and fine motor. They were also given a headache questionnaire. Students participated in a movement program designed to decrease the amount of primitive reflex present, improve the balance and visual systems and reading ability.
Mindfulness Plus Reflection Training: Effects on Executive Function in Early Childhood
by Philip David Zelazo PhD, Jessica L. Forston MEdAnn S. Masten, and Stephanie M. Carlson PhD

The goal of the study was to assess the impact of an intervention targeting reflection and stress reduction on children’s executive function (EF) skills. Often called the air traffic controller of the mind, EF is the primary skill set required for impulse control. Although EF skills are essential for academic achievement, poverty-related stress interferes with their development, leaving many children unprepared for the transition into school.

Preschool children (N = 218) from two charters schools serving low-income children participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Mindfulness + Reflection training; Literacy training; or Business as Usual (BAU).

  • Mindfulness + Reflection training involved calming and mindfulness curriculum that provided opportunities for the child to practice reflection in the context of EF-challenging games; 30 sessions over 6 weeks.

  • Literacy training involved curriculum designed to develop language and literacy skills primarily in the areas of mathematics, science, and social studies; 30 sessions over 6 weeks.

  • BAU involved regular classroom activities.

For all three groups, EF improved over the course of the 6 weeks, which was expected because the preschool period is marked by particularly rapid EF development. However, at a follow up 4 weeks after the sessions ended, the students receiving the Mindfulness + Reflection training significantly outperformed the BAU group.

Standard scores (z) on the EF composite as a function of time and condition. BAU = Business as Usual; Mind + Reflect = mindfulness plus Reflection.

Rank order of the children was also assessed. The researchers found that children’s ranks increased significantly over time for the Mindfulness + Reflection group, whereas they declined for the BAU group and remained stable for the Literacy group. By the end of the study, the children from the Mindfulness + Reflection group ranked highest in the class, Literacy group children were ranked in the middle, and BAU group children had the lowest ranks.

Overall, the study’s results suggest that teaching mindfulness and reflection is a promising intervention for improving EF in low-income preschool children.

Read the Full Article Here: Mindfulness Plus Reflection Training: Effects on Executive Function in Early Childhood

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