“During the first period of life, the child imitates all that goes on in its surroundings in a bodily-religious way.” Steiner, Understanding Young Children, Walking, Speaking, Thinking.
Our sense of movement gives us awareness of our muscles and joints. When children sit, stand, and move about at their own pace, they are developing their proprioception and vestibular senses, where they are in space, and their sense of balance. Movement integrates our senses and “every movement which we perform with our body is a visible expression of our will,” according to anthroposophical pediatrician Susan R. Johnson. Steiner says that self movement is related to the development of the will. In this paper, I will focus on the primitive reflexes that I have worked with regarding my own child and which I am able to identify through observation. Note that there are other reflexes which will not be discussed here.
Movements made as a result of reflex action myelinize the brain circuitry – like a road map. Sally Goddard states in her book, Reflexes, Learning and Behavior, “A reflex is an involuntary response to a stimulus and the entire physiological process activating it.”