Palmar grasp – As the child grows and develops itself, he goes through several stages. These stages are called reflexes. They are different stages and have different reflexes. The different reflexes in the child development are “adaptive value of reflexes”, “moro reflex”, “Walking  or stepping reflex”, “rooting reflex”, “sucking reflex”, “tonic neck reflex”, “palmar grasp reflex”, “plantarreflex”, “Galant reflex”, swimming reflex”, “Babkin reflex”. The child goes through all these stages and develops itself.

These reflexes are called primitive reflexes. They originate from the central nervous system. These reflexes, like the palmar grasp, are exhibited by the infants and are very different from what adults do. Each stage has its own way of developing the child and as the child grows, the previous stage disappears and next stage starts. The other names for primitive reflexes are infant, newborn or infantile reflexes.

palmar grasp
palmar grasp

Primitive reflexes are usually seen in the infants; however, there is a possibility of it showing up in the adults on a later age. These reflexes stay with the adults due to any neurological problems. Adults affected by cerebral palsy may have these reflexes still present in them. Any individual with intelligence and cerebral palsy will be able to suppress and control these reflexes; however, they might crop again under extreme conditions.

These extreme conditions can be like the startle reaction. These reflexes can also be shown in specific areas affected by cerebral palsy. For example, cerebral palsy can affect the legs. If it does, the “babkin reflex” can be seen in the individual, though the adult would be good with speech and other things, the reflex will be seen only in the affected area.

Palmar grasp is one of these reflexes. This stage is from the day of child’s birth until he is 5 to 6 months old. In this stage, the infant will learn how to grasp the object. When the infant is going through the palmar grasp stage, he will grasp anything which is placed on his palms. If anything is placed or stroked on the infant’s palm, the fingers close automatically grasping the object.

When the infant grasp the object, he will hold it very strongly. During the development of palmar grasp in the infants, they may also release the objects without any warning and it is a sudden release. Another interesting fact about the palmar grasp stage is that, the infant will try to grasp objects even if the side or the back of the hand is stroked.

The palmar grasp stage disappears when the infant is six months old. As the child comes close to six months, the frontal lobes inhibit the palmar grasp. It is also said that in this stage, the infant grasp the object so tightly, that it can support its own weight. In this stage, when the infant’s palm is stroked, it will grasp the object and when it is stroked on the back, the infant will release the object. As the child develops, the palmar grasp stage will be refined to finer grasp stage.

The Palmar grasp can also be described as a reflex action that is associated with the central nervous system, and can be observed in normal infants. This type of reflex action may not necessarily be observed in normal adults. As the child is developing, the palmar grasp reflex will be inhibited by the frontal lobes.

The Palmar grasp is categorized as infantile or newborn reflex action. Most babies have an innate ability for these reflexes to appear at birth and persists for five to six months of age. In the Palmar grasp, when an infant’s palm with stroked, the fingers will close and they will grasp it.

According to researchers, the grip of the palmar grasp may be strong, but it is unpredictable. Sometimes, the baby may suddenly release the grip without any warning sign. In certain cases, it has been found that the grip of the palmar grasp is so strong that it can hold the baby’s weight.

It has also been found that one can encourage the infant to release the grip, by stroking the back or side of the hands. As the baby is growing and developing the palmar grasp will be transformed into the finer pincer grasp.