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  • Writer's pictureNancy Sokol Green

Asperger's Syndrome

Here’s how Asperger’s Syndrome symptoms may also be explained by retained primitive reflexes and incomplete lower brain development.

Peripheral vision is acquired with pons development, so avoidance of eye contact can be a sign of an underdeveloped pons. We don’t often realize that we use our peripheral vision as “anchors” to help us maintain eye contact. When we try to make eye contact without peripheral vision, we’re forced to stare. Since staring becomes uncomfortable rather quickly, we naturally turn to look elsewhere.

People may also avoid eye contact because their eyes do not team, in sync, to see one image. In such cases, these people may see multiple images when looking directly at a person’s face. Again, the more natural inclination is to look away (multiple images can be very distracting)—especially if someone is trying to process whatever the person in front of them is saying.

Heightened sensitivity to loud noises, lights, strong tastes and textures can be signs of an underdeveloped midbrain. One of the midbrain’s functions is to filter unimportant sensory information. If the midbrain is not fully developed, too much unnecessary sensory information floods the person’s cortex.

Problems with coordination can be a sign of poor vestibular and proprioceptive processing since both are related to balance and spatial awareness.

Not understanding social cues can also be signs of poor sensory processing. In order to respond appropriately to social cues, information has to first be interpreted and processed correctly—something that may not be possible when higher centers of the brain are continually preoccupied with compensating for the underdevelopment of the lower centers.

Delayed motor development can be a sign of retained primitive reflexes since they interfere with the brain’s natural way to develop gross and fine motor skills. Primitive reflexes also make a person more prone to reactive, rather than reflective, behavior.

People who dislike change in routine may be missing several automatic functions that are associated with a well-organized brain. Since such people are always compensating, an unfamiliar routine requires new ways to compensate—and that is stressful.


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