Startle reflex is one of the most popular subjects on my blog and I have written extensively about it, but because you seek more insight into it, I thought I would give you just that.
I don’t remember the first time I became mindful of feeling what it was like to jump. I do however remember the events around it. When I was little I remember furniture walking basically I would walk holding on to a chair or couch for balance. One day, my dad was in an adjoining room, and sneezed. As is common with cerebral palsy and the Moro reflex I jumped while standing which caused my knees to buckle. As a child the therapists in my life taught me how to fall safely when standing to ensure I didn’t injure myself, although I have never fallen when startled, I have always managed to catch myself I am comforted in knowing how to fall correctly.
It may sound strange needing to learn how to fall, but when you factor in the fact that you are generally intertwined with some form of mobility equipment you can see how this will complicate things. Startle reflex is as normal to mean as breathing. A lot of people have never heard of it, or if they have it is something that they associate with infants because it is commonly known as an infant reflex. People don’t realize that given the nature of Cerebral Palsy that this causes a prolonged startle reflex that is never lost.
I recognize that startle reflex can be a little nerve wracking to witness, but I do my best to explain it as quickly as possible and reassure the person they didn’t do anything to cause me to startle.
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