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Classroom Management Considered From A Retained Primitive Reflexes Perspective.

This week we are featuring psychologist, Dr Sally Goddard Blythe who will be delivering her plenary on classroom management at the SEN Jigsaw Conference, in April.
Read on to find out more about Sally and her work and what she will be talking about at the SEN Jigsaw Conference.

Please could you tell our readers a little about yourself?

I am Director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology – a private practice, research and training centre - dedicated to investigating underlying physical factors in specific learning difficulties and developing reliable methods of assessment and effective physical intervention programmes.

When asked, “what do you do?” I sometimes describe myself as “an upside-down psychologist”, because instead of looking primarily at the effect of the mind on the body, I specialise in the relationship between physical abilities, cognitive performance and emotions.  

In reality, separation of the mind from the body is just a theoretical construct,  and as one colleague pointed out, the only person who has successfully separated the two was a Dr Guillotine, who later became the subject of his own invention!

We are all the product of the constantly adapting relationship between the brain, the body and our physical surroundings.

Why do you do what you do?

Because attempting to understand the puzzle of why we are what we are is an endless and fascinating journey of discovery.  There will always be a reason for problems in functioning and performance, and the skill of the clinician, teacher or therapist is try to discover what is blocking a child’s progress, and if possible to remove, by-pass or develop compensatory strategies to overcome the barrier.  Understanding “why” is the key helping a child to progress and realise their potential.

Please tell us about your plenary talk at the SEN Jigsaw?

This will introduce attendees to the physical foundations of learning and their role in supporting learning success.  It will discuss the role of infant reflexes in providing rudimentary training for many later voluntary skills, the impact of infant reflexes on functioning if they are not integrated in the first years of life, and signs of symptoms of neuromotor immaturity (NMI) in the classroom.  It will also show examples of physical programmes in schools and their impact on learning outcomes and behaviour.

What will our delegates gain from listening to your plenary?

This plenary lecture is an introduction to on how to screen for signs of neuromotor immaturity (NMI) in children from 4 years of age and how to implement a daily movement programme into schools for children from 6 years age and upwards.  It will also provide information about less structured movement activities which can be used with pre-school and reception classes.

How can our delegates contact you?

I can be contacted through my website at

Scroll down to see the full lineup of the SEN Jigsaw Conference 2018.

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