Pyramid of Potential



Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex and Vision




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February 26, 2015


Hey Folks!


Hello everyone, this is the last in a series of newsletters about primitive reflexes. Stay tuned, as next week we will look into the next level of the Pyramid of Potential - Sensory Development. If you missed some of the old newsletters, just go to our website and look them up. Links are on the newsletter page.


Also, as this is the last newsletter of the month, we are ending our sale on the download version of Maintaining Brains Everyday. If you don't have your copy yet, be sure to pick it up now!


If you work for a school who wants to improve cognitive skills, take a look at the grants that you can get if you apply this month, through The Brainware Company -


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

Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex and Vision


Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex  (STNR) is so interesting, as it does not emerge until the child is about 6 months old. This means that it is not a primitive reflex, but is actually a postural reflex. Also, it means that developmentally, this will not emerge until some of the other reflexes have been integrated. And that means that many people never had their STNR emerge, much less have integrated it. PHEW!


When I am teaching a course, usually more than half of the adults in the room have not fully integrated the Moro, or that it has re-emerged. Think about the consequences of that. So many people walking around, functioning well, even obtaining advanced degrees, without their reflexes fully integrated. As a matter of fact, when I show people what it looks like when testing someone who has not integrated the STNR, they feel that the response is normal. Well, it is not optimal, but is probably normal for most of the population.


Here are the symptoms of an unintegrated STNR (most people would not have all of the symptoms; but if several are present, it is probably due to the reflex):

  • Poor posture
  • Ape-like walk
  • "W" leg position while sitting on floor
  • Poor eye-hand coordination
  • Messy eater
  • Tracking problems
  • Convergence problems
  • Near focusing problems
  • Slow with copying tasks
  • Difficulty learning to swim
  • Poor attention


Since today's newsletter is about vision, I will specifically talk about tracking, convergence, and near focusing.




Tracking is the name of the visual skill that allows a person to smoothly and effortlessly follow a moving target. While ATNR worked on horizontal tracking, STNR works on vertical tracking. We need this so that, when reading, we can easily go from the end of one line to the begging of the next line. The person with this issue will lose their place when reading, read the same line again, or skip a line. Reading is very slow and comprehension suffers because of the need to read each paragraph several times to be able to keep it all straight.




Good convergence allows us to see distance to near and back again quickly and efficiently. We need this in school in order to copy from the board and in sports to follow the baseball, basketball, or football as it comes closer and closer. People with extremely poor convergence even have difficulty copying from a book to a piece of paper, or reading a book if it is flat on the table. They will instead pick it up so that the page is a uniform distance from their eyes.


Near Focusing


This is acuity - the ability to see well when the information is close to the eyes. It is usually helped by glasses, but can also be helped by STNR reflex integration and vision exercises.  I will go into this in much more detail next month when the newsletter is specifically about vision.


Notice how many people over 40 wear glasses. As they age, their vision gets worse, and their reflexes seem to re-emerge as well. I have been doing my reflex exercises almost daily for the past 4 years and have found that my vision has significantly improved. I do not need glasses anymore except when the lighting is very low and the text is very small. Certainly, I have better vision than most of my peers, and it wasn't always this way!


Reflexes and the order they are integrated


Of the 6 reflexes I have covered, STNR is developmentally the last to be integrated naturally. Babies integrate these 6 throughout the first year of life, and many overlap. Through my decade of experience, I have found that although the deepest integration is found by integrating them one at a time developmentally, most families are not willing to do the 6 months worth of work before continuing on to other things, like cognitive training. They see so many improvements after Spinal Galant is integrated that they don't want to continue with ATNR and STNR. Yet, all reflexes, if retained, are important!


The solution was to see how people would do if they did the reflex integration together, rather than one reflex at a time. We found that they were tolerated, and that many people had even better integration by stimulating the entire brain at once. So far, people are not overwhelmed or overstimulated.


So, give it a try! Do all at once, rather than in developmental order (Moro, Palmar, TLR, Spinal Galant, ATNR, and STNR). Use Maintaining Brains Everyday DVD for a month or two or three. The longer, the deeper the integration. However, be sure to move on to target the other issues that might be a problem.


Maintaining Brains has an introduction, and two levels of exercises - beginning and advanced. It is like an exercise DVD to follow along, takes about 15 minutes a day, and includes a booklet that explains the exercises. And it's on sale!


Next week:

Auditory Processing: diagnosis, accommodations, and remediation

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.
Where's Kathy?

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



  Kathy Johnson Photo 2010

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

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 **

WEdnesday, April 22, 2015 in TULSA, OK
Early Registration: $189.99 

Thursday, April 23, 2015 in OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 
Early Registration: $189.99 

Friday, April 24, 2015 in DALLAS, TX
Early Registration: $189.99 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015 in FORT LEE, NJ 
Early Registration: $189.99 

Thursday, May 14, 2015 in PARSIPPANY, NJ
Early Registration: $189.99 

Friday, May 15, 2015 in SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ 
Early Registration: $189.99 


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