Nuero Developmental Delay

New born babies are not a blank canvas.

They arrive pre-programmed by evolution with sets of instructions such as:
  • suck when your mouth is stimulated
  • move your limbs when your head moves
  • grip when the palm of your hand is touched
  • cry out and throw your arms and head back when your frightened

These are called Primitive Reflexes

About Neuro Developmental Delay

Primitive reflexes are reflex actions originating in the central nervous system that are exhibited by normal infants.

They are thought to help:

  • with the birth

  • when in danger

  • with practicing hand and eye movement

  • with sorting out the left and right sides of the body

  • with sorting out the upper body from the lower body

  • the muscles to develop and work together

  • to help the senses to work with the balance (vestibular) system

  • in getting the child ready for the next step in development (rolling, sitting, crawling, walking)


As the baby gets older, the more intellectual parts of the brain learn to take control and these primitive reflexes become dormant. Deciding what to do and doing it is now due to voluntary intellectual thought. So the child develops better ways of:

First Steps
  • standing, walking and sitting

  • coping with all the information the different senses send to the brain

  • sorting through and make sense of all that information

  • deciding what to do

  • doing what it decided

If a number of primitive (baby) reflexes remain in control they can seriously effect how a child’s brain handles all the information gathered by the senses.

This is called Neuro-Developmental Delay

For some children the world slightly askew, they have ‘two left feet’, left and right’s become confused as does learning to read and write. For others information going to and from the brain is disorganised and their life is disjointed. Having a cluster of uninhibited primitive reflexes can affect children in so many different ways. It is a contributory cause, not necessarily a symptom, so by reducing it, many other ‘problems’ seem to just disappear or reduce.

Where Neuro-Physiological Therapy Has Come From

INPPNeuro Motor Therapy was developed by Peter and Sally Blythe at The Institute of Neuro–Physiological Psychology (INPP) in Chester.  Since 1975 INPP has a long tradition of successfully working with children, for whom nothing else seemed to work. They have published a lot of work on how early childhood experience, inhibition of primitive reflexes, development of postural reflexes and movement effect brain development.

They developed a thorough assessment procedure to determine how much Neuro Motor Delay might be a contributory factor towards a child’s difficulties. They also developed the therapy process. INNP deliver training nationally and internationally. Their work is published in a number of learned journals and they have published over 6 books on the subject. I was trained and assessed at the Institute in 2006.

Where Musica Medica Has Come From

This Music Therapy was developed by Prof. Dr. Y Schiftan. He along with Prof. Dr. A Standnicki researched the benefits of Musica Medica at the Special Education Academy of Maria Grzegorzewska in Warsaw. As with Neuro Physiological Therapy the focus is upon helping the brain to better transmit and handle sensory information. Music stimulates a great many areas of the brain, including those linked to speech and language, emotion and memory. Using earphones the brain receives specific musical ‘information’ through the child’s hearing system (acoustic stimulation).

Music is also transmitted through the skin and skeleton (somatosensory stimulation) through a vibro-acoustic device thus stimulating even more areas of the brain to do with touch, movement and proprioception. In some cases this may be further enhanced by visual information from a DVD player, linked to the equipment. The efficacy of this multisensory therapy has been the subject of well over fifty masters and post graduate research projects in Poland. I was trained by Prof. Dr Y Shiftan.

About Pete Griffin - Open Doors Therapy Founder & Therapist

As a child at school in the 1950’s and 60’s I was labelled a ‘late developer’ leaving school with few qualifications. Whilst working as a laboratory technician, I attended night school until I had enough qualifications to go for teacher training.

After qualifying I have worked in education for over 40 years. I have taught every age group, from nursery to college of technology;

  • I have been a coordinator for various subjects including Special Educational Needs.

  • I have been a deputy head in two primary schools and a successful head in two other primary schools.

  • In 2004 I was Highly Commended in ‘The Promethean Award for Head Teacher of the Year’ awards

  • I have been an Advisory Teacher for Maths, Science and Technology.

  • I have been an Advisory Head Teacher, Consultant Head Teacher, Educational Consultant and Trainer

  • I have been an Advisory Editor for an educational magazine.

  • I have had articles published the following educational magazines – Questions, Special Children, Primary School Manager, Managing Schools Today.

  • I retired at the end of 2006 as Head Teacher at a Walsall Primary School .Whilst becoming an inspector or advisor was a natural progression, for me it is through working with children that I get the greatest reward.

  • You can see just how rewarding changing children’s liveshas been by looking at the comments from Parents and Children

  • I was trained by Sally and Peter Blythe at INPP on the ‘theory, diagnosis and remediation of Neuro Developmental Delay’ in 2006

  • I was trained by Professor Yair Shiftan on Musica Medica in 2010.

  • I am a consultant for Walsall Action Research Network and was commissioned by Walsall Children’s Services to write a book – ‘HOW TO BE OUTSTANDING - A question of learning and learning to question.’

  • I have run courses on teaching Science, Maths, Technology and Special Educational Needs


Official Definition

Neuro-Developmental  Delay is defined by Institute of Neuro-Physiological Psychology, ‘as the continued presence of a cluster of primitive reflexes above the age of one year and the absence or underdevelopment of postural reflexes above the age of three and a half years.  The presence of primitive and absence of postural reflexes at key stages in development provide reliable indicators of central nervous system maturity. Abnormal reflexes have also been documented as playing a part in specific learning difficulties and immature behaviour.

(Fiorentino 1970, Bobath & Bobath 1975, Ayres 1972/3, Bender 1976, Blythe, McGlown 1979, Goddard 1994/96, Wilkinson 1994, Goddard Blythe 1998) and immature behaviour.’

Testimonials for Open Doors Therapy Following the treatment, Joseph has come alive. Testimonials for Open Doors Therapy
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