• The ATNR develops at approximately 18 weeks in utero, should be fully developed by birth, and should integrate by six months of age. This is around the same time that the Moro and Palmar Grasp reflexes are also integrating, as well as around the same time, the infant is intentionally reaching for objects, has gained head control, and may start crawling.

    ATNR divides the body in half vertically – the left and right sides

    The ATNR is often called the “fencing reflex”, due to the fact that when an infant is lying on their back and their head is turned to one side, the arm on that same side will extend while the opposite arm will flex in towards the body - looks like they’re ready to start fencing!



    Challenges seen when the ATNR is not integrated

    • Challenges with crawling as an infant
    • Decreased engagement with toys as an infant
    • Poor balance when learning to walk
    • Gravitational insecurity and fear with movement
    • Challenges with crossing midline
    • Poor hand dominance establishment
    • Challenges with reading and writing
    • Left / right confusion
    • Challenges with visual tracking
    • Poor coordination for bilateral integration tasks
    • Dyslexia and/or Dysgraphia

    The exercise called the "Lizard" can integrate the Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex

    The child lays on their stomach and then move like a lizard moving the same side arm and leg by flexing the extremity while extending the other side. The head should be lookng at the flexed side - which is opposite of what the reflex wants to do.

    If you have any concerns with your child's developmental skills contact the OT or PT department at CLV