The persistence of the asymmetrical tonic neck reflex (ATNR) was examined in children with partial hearing (aged 6-12 years). Core literacy skills were also assessed. Three groups of children were selected from three schools with special units for children with partial hearing. All children completed an upright ATNR test protocol and standardised tests of reading and spelling. Children with partial hearing had significant levels of ATNR persistence, and significant reading and spelling difficulties. The findings suggest that persistence of an early sub-cortical reflex system may be associated with some of the motor and cognitive difficulties experienced by children with partial hearing.