Southpaw Enterprises
Weighted Vests
Weighted Vests
Southpaw's Weighted Vests are designed with an emphasis on durability and comfort, and are cut to maximize ventilation for the client.
Weighted Ladybug Blanket
Weighted Ladybug Blanket
Our new animal weighted blankets can be used the same as our regular weighted blankets for calming or all over sensory input. The distinctive animal shapes make therapy fun for children of all ages..
Weighted Blanket
Weighted Blanket
The Southpaw Weighted Blanket is great for calming and all-over sensory input.

Our Weighted Blanket is manufactured with a safe, non-toxic steel weight medium that is laminated into the blanket in a proprietary process. This allows the entire surface to be weighted, yet remain machine washable.
Steamroller Deluxe
Steamroller Deluxe
Some children crave deep pressure, and the Southpaw Steamroller is a fun way to get it!

Your children will love the challenge of crawling between the "roller" and being "flattened" by the Steamroller. Other children will "hang out" for a while as the rollers provide the input they need to calm their bodies before sit down activities.
Kid Garage
Kid Garage
Designed for home, clinic, or classroom, the Kid Garage is the perfect place to "park" a child in need of quiet space.  The garage is comprised of four foam-filled slabs that have a durable vinyl exterior and a soft, comforting nylon fabric interior.  The ends are capped with a vinyl covers that are secured to the garage with hook and loop material.

More Info

Advantage Line Platform Swing
Advantage Line Platform Swing
Help enhance your child's therapy, at a lower price! Our stardard platform swing, one of the most-used pieces of equipment by therapists, is now offered in our Advantage Line. We have eliminated extra components, which results in more savings for you.
Issue: 3 March, 2008
Southpaw Enterprises - Pawprint 

Welcome to another edition of Pawprint, Southpaw's monthly e-newsletter designed to share information throughout the SI community.   Spring is upon us, and with it comes Autism Awareness month and Occupational Therapy month in April.  We've featured some special products this month, along with a great article to coincide with these events.  We'd like to thank each and every one of you for your support!

Make sure to visit us online at
Survey of the Month
This month we are trying something a little different for the Survey of the Month.  We are searching for the oldest piece of Southpaw equipment that we can find.  If you have an old Southpaw product, email a picture of the product and any information you have about it to  We will announce the winner of the oldest product contest in next month's edition of Pawprint.

Congratulations to Shannon Martin of Vernon Hills, Illinois who won the $100 Southpaw gift certificate for participating in February's Survey of the Month.
Click here to submit your Southpaw equipment photos.
Therapist Forum
Spring into Awareness: Autism and Occupational Therapy Awareness Month
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
Deanna Maciole

Besides the Spring weather coming in April, the month of April is also considered Occupational Therapy (OT) and Autism Awareness month.  In an effort to increase awareness of these two areas, this month we are going to take a  look at the role that occupational therapists play in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Autism is a developmental disorder that continues to be the fastest-growing diagnosis in children.  At this time, 1 in 150 children are being diagnosed, which has increased from 1 in 10,000 since 1993. 1 With the high increase in incidences, it is now being considered an epidemic.  Autism is considered a disorder that strongly affects the brain functions that control communication skills and social behaviors. 2 In addition, many of the children affected by ASD are suffering from sensory processing disorder (SPD).   SPD is a child's ability to take in the various sensory inputs within his/her environments and appropriately process them.  Many times the lack of the ability to process this information leads to increased tantrums and behavioral issues due to communication difficulties.

Since the main concerns appear to be issues that would be addressed by a speech therapist, it is often misunderstood why parents need to seek out OT services, as well as many others.  However, OT is one the top services provided to these children. Therefore, what exactly is the role that occupational therapists play in treating these children?
In general, the focus of OT services is to enhance a child's ability to participate and perform in the activities of daily living.  For children these include, but are not limited to, the activities of feeding, dressing, and playing, as well as educational and leisure activities.  In regards to these activities, OTs may look at the child's fine motor, visual motor, coordination, and oral motor skills.   In addition, occupational therapists treat the many symptoms and concerns that come with sensory processing disorder. Any of these services may be provided in a variety of settings, including clinics, schools, homes, and community settings.  To assess these concerns therapists may use formal testing, clinical observation and parent reporting.

Although there are numerous treatment interventions for children with ASD, OTs often become part of a multidisciplinary treatment team approach.  Early on, OTs are called in to address many of the sensory and behavioral concerns that may range from a child not liking to finger paint in school, to resisting wearing  particular types of clothing materials, to even avoiding settings  with loud noises due to auditory sensitivities.  Children on the spectrum often demonstrate difficulty with changes in routines and transitions.  These difficulties make it hard for these children to participate in the school setting and often are unable to be out in the community.  Families may be unable to shop in stores together or eat in restaurants.  OTs help by providing techniques and strategies for families to increase a child's tolerance and ability to cope in these overwhelming situations. Occupational therapists often assist in the development of play skills, helping children both purposefully use toys and interact with peers while doing so.

Sessions to help treat these concerns may include a variety of activities to decrease defensiveness, as well as increase a child's ability to calm and self-regulate.  Treatment media may include the use of the Deep Pressure Proprioceptive Technique, Therapeutic Listening, proprioceptive, vestibular, and tactile activities.  In addition, therapist may use programs such as Brain Gym, S'cool Moves, and How Does Your Engine Run?, as part of the treatment plan. 

Many children often have difficulty tolerating a variety of food textures, as well as digesting various types of food.  Many may label these children as 'picky eaters', but in reality it is not that they chose not to eat particular foods, rather their systems have trouble breaking down the food.   Therefore, OTs can treat these concerns through oral motor and sensory techniques. Many times, they will work in conjunction with a speech therapist or a feeding team to help achieve goals at a faster pace.  It is beneficial for the OT to become educated in the various treatments strategies used in this area including the gluten/casein free diet, the use of supplements, and detoxification programs.

Overall, for the most success to be seen in these children, home programs and sensory diets need to be developed by the therapist and carried out by the parents in the home environment. Parents are the most important members of the treatment team.

Since treatment for children with ASD is a team approach, OTs need to play the role of assisting families as they search for additional treatments.  These may include the aforementioned feeding approaches, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Floortime, the TEACCH program, the use of augmentative communication, including PECS and social stories, as well as many others.

Spring is a time we watch the flowers and trees bloom, a time of new life and growth.  So, as we enter this season, let us open are eyes to increase our awareness to the growing incidences of Autism in our society.  Take the time to learn what we can about this disorder, as well as the important role occupational therapy can play in the treatment process.  Together, as parents, teachers, therapists, and family members we may be able to make a difference in the lives of these children allowing new periods of growth.

1.  Autism Speaks, Inc.  (2007).  Retrieved March 17, 2008.

2.  American Occupational Therapy Association. (2007).  Occupational Therapy's Role with Autism. [Fact Sheet]. Bethesda, MD: Author.

Did You Know?
Advantage Line Platform Swing

Our Advantage Line swing offers all of the strength and durability of our standard platform swing, but at a reduced cost.  If you need all of the Southpaw quality of a standard platform swing, but do not need the increased functionality, be sure to check out the Advantage Line swing!

Click here for more information.
Upcoming Events

Southpaw will be at the upcoming shows.  Stop by our booth and say hi!

April 3-5 - Council for Exceptional Children - Boston, MA - Booth 2627

April 10-12 - AOTA Conference - Long Beach, CA - Booth 629