Neuromotor Immaturity is defined by "the continued presence of a cluster of primitive reflexes (beyond 6-12 months old) and/or a cluster of underdeveloped postural reflexes (above 3 1/2 years old)". Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology (INPP, UK)
Neuromotor Immaturity means that there is immaturity in the brain and that a person's central nervous system is functioning below their biological age.
Our bodies must support us to function, learn and interact with our world. NMI means that a person's body is getting in the way of functioning and learning. It's hindering, not helping.
In utero, we develop reflexes that will help us interact with and survive our environment in the early months of life. These primitive reflexes originate in the brainstem, the first part of the brain to develop. In typical development, they inhibit (disappear) in the first year of life and are replaced by postural reflexes which are more mature patterns of response and are controlled by higher centres in the brain. They control balance, coordination and sensory motor development.
If primitive reflexes don't inhibit in the first year of life, they are called retained primitive reflexes. Retained reflexes affect development and can cause issues with balance, motor control, eye-functioning, hand-eye coordination, perceptual skills, fine motor skills and all levels of social, emotional and academic learning. They can affect behaviour and result in anxiety, frustration, hyperactivity and hypersensitivity.
At Unlock Learning and Health, primitive and postural reflexes can be assessed to see if they are the underlying cause of your/your child's difficulties. Help is offered through Neurodevelopmental therapy which inhibits any retained primitive reflexes, strengthens postural reflexes and develops sensory integration.