Tonic Neck Pattern:
The Tonic Neck Pattern is used with any student in whom good midline function has not yet been established. It also offers early opportunities for horizontal eye tracking in the infant.
To perform the Tonic Neck Pattern, the student lies on her back on a smooth surface. This pattern is easier to do if the student is wearing socks to allow the feet to slide easily on the surface. The student makes light fists of both hands with the pointer or index finger extended. The right arm, with this pointed finger, is extended straight out from the shoulder, resting on the floor and the head is turned toward this hand, eyes focused on the pointed finger. The right leg is straight. Meanwhile, the left hand, with its light
fist and pointed finger is bent, resting on the floor with the finger pointed in the area of the left ear. The left leg is bent out to the side with the sole of the foot near the inside of the right knee.
The head initiates the movement. The spine remains straight while the head and limbs switch smoothly to the other side. Now, left arm and leg are straight while the right arm and leg are bent.
As the head turns side-to-side, the eyes trace a horizontal pathway. Special care should be taken to make sure that the eyes are open as they cross midline. A sticker on the ceiling can be helpful.