Skip to main content

The Moro Reflex

By January 12, 2021May 25th, 2023No Comments1 min read

The Moro Reflex is one of the first reflexes to develop in utero and first to integrate at about 4 months of age. This reflex can be triggered by various senses as well as head tilting backwards in space. Through a trigger, an infant warns caregivers of possible threats. Listed below are possible red flags to look for if moro reflex has not integrated:

  • Hypersensitivity to sound, light, movement, touch, and/or smell
  • Motion sickness
  • Difficulty with reading, writing, and/or vision
  • Poor balance
  • Poor coordination
  • Easily triggered and/or emotional outbursts
  • Difficulty adapting to change and filtering out stimuli in environment
  • Difficulty with visual perceptual skills

The Moro reflex, is also known as the startle reflex, is a natural reflex that is present in infants. It is an involuntary response to a sudden or unexpected sound or movement that causes the infant to arch their back, extend their arms and legs, and then bring their arms together in a hugging motion. This reflex is usually present in infants from birth until around 4-6 months of age and is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation that helps protect infants from potential dangers in their environment.

Occupational Therapy can assist in integration of reflexes to ensure meaningful engagement with all occupations.  Schedule!  To learn more about reflexes, check out our YouTube channel.

Armida Carr

Armida Carr is the founder and owner of New Horizon Therapy. Armida holds a MS from Arizona State University, is licensed by the State of Arizona, and is certified as a Speech Language Pathologist by the American Speech-Hearing and Language Association (ASHA).