Pyramid of Potential



Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR)




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February 18, 2015


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Wed, Feb 18, 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Good luck!!


Also, Carol Brown of Equipping Minds is having a conference in April that I will be speaking at, along with several others. More information at


If you have already tried our primitive reflex exercises, I would love to hear your story. Please send me an email with your story and with your consent we will publish them on our testimonial page of our website. If you would like to hear what people have said, take a look at the page yourself.

Thank you so much! Kathy

Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex


This weeks newsletter is taken from


Click the link for the full article.


The Asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR) is a primitive reflex that is found in new born babies and normally remains until around 6 months. It emerges in utero at around 18 weeks after conception and is usually identified and seen within the first 3 months after birth. The reflex is initiated when the head is turned to the left or the right whilst the baby lies on its back. The turning of the head causes the arm and the leg on one side to extend, whilst the limbs on the opposite side flex. If the head turns to the right, the right arm and leg will automatically extend whilst the left arm and leg both flex. It is often called the "fencing" reflex due to this pattern.      


The purpose of the ATNR is to provide stimulation for developing muscle tone and the vestibular system whilst in the womb before birth. It also assist with the birthing process by inhibiting limb movement and slowing it down so that the baby uses a "corkscrew" movement through the birth passage. ATNR helps with eye-hand co-ordination and serves as a precursor to this skill. A retained ATNR can have a significant impact on a child's development and it is often thought to have a major effect on the child's physical, cognitive, social and emotional progress, thus affecting their ability to function well in school. The retained reflex will continue to influence limb movement every time the head is turned and will have physical influences that impact on all other areas.


The ATNR will interfere with a baby's ability to centralise and reach things within the mid line position of their body. Once this reflex is integrated (around 6 months) the baby begins to reach and have functional ability within the mid line of their body. A strongly retained ATNR will affect this ability so that the baby finds it difficult for hands, feet and eyes to cross the mid line. Visual tracking and eye pursuit of an object becomes difficult and this later results in difficulty with reading as the child can not easily make the rapid forwards and backwards eye movements (saccades) that are essential for reading. Writing will also be difficult due to this as well as due to the reflex causing the hand to involuntarily extend as the head is turned towards the hand. The child will find it difficult to maintain a pen grip and may compensate with a lot of pressure in a tight grip, causing cramps and making their writing messy and illegible. The child may also find it difficult to copy written work as their eyes will follow their hand and not the text.


The retained ATNR prevents a baby from developing certain physical cross pattern movements such as rolling over, crawling and later marching using alternative leg and arm. As they grow older the child may have atypical movement patterns and may draw circles backwards, clap downwards, use one hand more than the other whilst clapping, or may be very single handed in most activities. A strongly retained reflex in the legs can also affect balance as the child looks from left to right. Walking, running and other physical activities can be uncoordinated and the child could have difficulty with symmetrical movements of the hands and feet.  A strongly retained ATNR may eventually cause physical problems in the child's bone development. It may affect joints as well as the skeletal structure. It is often seen in children with scoliosis (curving of the spine).



When assessing and identifying a child with a retained ATNR, therapists will look for key features that indicate the child has retained the reflex. It may be mild and difficult to detect, or strong and obvious. If the child displays three or more of the following symptoms, further investigations should be conducted:

  • Difficulty with visual tracking and crossing the mid-line.
  • Difficulty with reading and following a line of text. Easily losing their place when reading. Difficulty reading small print.
  • Listening skills and attention skills are difficult to develop.   
  • Difficulty with binocular vision so that images are blurred. Double vision as two eyes can't work together well.
  • Poor handwriting and difficulty copying written script. Tight pencil grip.
  • Difficulty with spellings.
  • Poor eye-hand coordination.
  • Difficulty with bilateral coordination.
  • Poor sense of direction.
  • Difficulty catching and throwing balls. Often using one hand to throw.  
  • Poor gross motor coordination and balance.
  • Difficulty with swimming, especially breast stroke.
  • The child finds it hard to tell their left from right.
  • Poor short term memory and difficulty following verbal instructions.
  • Impulsive and emotionally immature for their age.
Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex
Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex


Tell Me Your Story

I am collecting stories about the effectiveness of primitive reflex integration, no matter what the process is or what method was used. Will you help? Please provide the following in your own words and in story form. Please keep it to about 2 paragraphs.

  • Diagnosis or issue
  • Changes found
  • Methodology
  • What reflexes were integrated
  • Other therapies that were used concurrently
  • Minimally their initials and location (state or country)


I will be putting these together in a free ebook organized by issue, so that people all over the world will have hope for themselves or loved ones. By sharing this everywhere, more people will get help. This is not to promote Pyramid of Potential, but instead to promote primitive reflexes. I want to collect hundreds!!


Thank you so much! Kathy


Contact Us
Kathy Johnson, MS Ed

Bob Johnson

Pyramid of Potential
245 Washington St #3369
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

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 Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex
Kathy Johnson, M Ed of Pyramid of Potential describes the STNR, or Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex and how it affects learning, especially vision and coordination.
Kathy Johnson, M Ed of Pyramid of Potential describes the STNR, or Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex and how it affects learning, especially vision and coordination.
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It is now time to set up your professional development at your school - Kathy is available for many dates this Fall! Call now to secure YOUR date!


Below are the upcoming workshops that Kathy Johnson is giving. If she is not coming to your area, why not hire her for your next professional development?


Kathy Johnson is speaking at the following conferences. More information can be found at




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Friday, February 27, 2015 in BILLINGS, MT 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/7/2015 **

Monday, March 23, 2015 in SPOKANE, WA 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 3/3/2015 **

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 in MISSOULA, MT 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/5/2015 **

Thursday, February 26, 2015 in BUTTE, MT 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 2/6/2015 **


Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in RENTON, WA 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 3/4/2015 **

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in LYNNWOOD, WA 
Early Registration: $189.99
** Early Registration Prices Available Until 3/5/2015 **


If you aren't near any of these on-site professional development conferences, consider the following:


Dyslexia, Dyscalculia & Dysgraphia: An Integrated Approach   Price: $169.99  Author: Kathy Johnson, MS Ed.  Format: DVD