Retained Palmar, Or Grasp Reflex

This reflex is when an infant grips around an object that touches their palm. This is normal and helps the baby learn to grip and hang onto things with their hands. This reflex helps to develop hand-eye coordination, proper vision, and the ability to judge direction/distance.

Palmar Reflexes should fade at 3 to 6 months as they gain more hand control. It if isn't properly integrated it can contribute to an array of problems.


Test for Palmar Reflex

Have your child hold their hands out toward you with arms straight, palms open flat and up. Brush along their life line crease starting between their thumb and finger, then across their palm toward their wrist. Do this 3 times. Look for their fingers to twitch or their elbows twitch or bend in slightly.

Do this on both hands.

If either hand or elbow shows movement, the reflex is most likely present. Exercise both hands.


  • Poor handwriting
  • Poor pencil grip
  • Poor fine muscle control
  • Poor dexterity
  • Poor fine motor skills
  • Poor vision coordination
  • Slumpy posture when using hands
  • Back aches when sitting
  • Sticks tongue out when using hands
  • Poor pencil grip
  • Poor ability to put thoughts to paper
  • Dysgraphia
  • Speech and language problems
  • Anger control issues
  • Even if they don’t display any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to do the quick test on them, as there may be other functions that are affected by it that are still unknown.