Southpaw Enterprises
The Airwalker offers a totally different experience to users of suspended equipment. A cocoon-shaped bag of specially made Spandex gives clients the sensation of walking on an air floor.

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Kidlite Barrel
Kidlite Barrel
This heavy-duty barrel can be used to help develop balance and coordination. It is lined with vinyl and foam and covered on the outside with carpet.
Southpaw Rocking Barrel
Rocking Barrel
This heavy-duty barrel can be used for quiet space, crawling through, rolling, or as a target for tossing. Helps to enhance spatial awareness, provides strong vestibular input and develops coordination.
Help improve bilateral integration while getting the benefits of postural and balance adjustments. The bilateral bolsters offer all the benefits of our standard bolster swings, but with two ropes on each end that attach to the sides of the bolster body.
Body Sox
Body Sox

Body Sox promote body awareness and creative movement in clients of all ages. Your client will discover how to transform space while developing balance and coordination skills.

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Issue: 4 April, 2008
Southpaw Enterprises - Pawprint 

Welcome to the April edition of Pawprint, Southpaw's monthly e-newsletter designed to share information throughout the SI community.   Following along with the end of Autism Awareness month, we're featuring some products with outside the box ways of using them. 

Make sure to visit us online at
Survey of the Month

We at Southpaw are very interested in seeing how you have your therapy rooms set up.  This month we are asking for readers to send us pictures of how your clinic or therapy room in your house is set up.  The most unique and 'fun' area will receive a $100 Southpaw gift certificate.  Send your pictures to

Congratulations to Barrie Galvin of Cleveland, Ohio, who won the $100 Southpaw gift certificate from last month's equipment contest.  Barrie submitted the oldest photo of Southpaw equipment, which was a Hot Dog Bolster swing from the early 1970's!  Thanks Barrie!

Therapist Forum
"Spring" Outside of the Box with Everyday Equipment
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
Deanna Maciole

In the last issue it was highlighted that April is Autism Awareness Month, identifying some of the key facts about the diagnosis, as well as the role that OTs play in treatment.  This month, we are going to take a look at some of the common equipment used by therapists of all disciplines to treat the sensory aspects of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), as well as the creative ways they may be utilized during treatment sessions.

Suspended equipment is utilized on a regular basis during treatment sessions to provide vestibular input.  The Airwalk swing is a cocoon-shaped bag that is made of Spandex™ that can be used by children in either the sitting or standing position.  In sitting, it provides a good source of proprioceptive input allowing children to be a caterpillar working to push out of the cocoon to show off its beauty as a newly formed butterfly.  While in standing, children can experience what it feels to walk on the moon as an astronaut. For interactive play, peek-a-boo is always a great activity addressing both eye contact and vocalization which can be easily achieved with this swing.

Barrel play (Kidlite Barrel, Rocking Barrel) can be used for so much more than just a quick roll or crawl through. If choosing to roll, why not set up some large bowling pins with either monster blocks or bolsters.  Pushing it down the alley provides proprioceptive input, while putting children in and rolling them is great for vestibular input.  To increase the challenge, have children roll themselves. Barrels also offer the ideal small space environment to complete activities for children when over stimulated.  A variety of activities can be completed including books, puzzles, and Wikki-Stix™ on the inside walls. While in the upright position, children can motor plan how to climb in and out to be a Jack-in-the-Box or increase the challenge by placing a therapy ball on top to play Pop Goes the Weasel, having them knock the ball off.  A barrel can also provide a boundary for the children who demonstrate difficulty with position in space or staying in place to complete table activities such as painting or writing by having the child stand up in the barrel while completing them.
Many children with ASD will either seek out or avoid tactile play, but utilizing the Sensory Shaker in a session whether on its own or part of an obstacle course provides input in a creative way.  The Sensory Shaker is a portable ball bag that allows a child to dive right into the fun.  Hiding objects such as puzzle pieces allows for a great game of hide-n-seek.  Have the child climb into the bag and shake the sides for a game of "washing machine".  Again, this item may be used to create a small space environment.

Weighted products such as blankets and a Body Sox are used for calming, body awareness, and proprioceptive input.  Children can venture into the life of turtle by lying on their bellies with a weighted blanket on their back to army crawl across the floor.  With an appropriate sized body sock, allow children to engage in therapy ball play to push and kick.

Music is always a good addition to any treatment session, whether using various songs sung by the therapist or specific selections for sensory based CDs, such as Say G'Day or No Worries.  The CDs often provide songs that can have motions and movement implemented.

So, challenge yourselves either as parents or therapists, to look around the clinic or house and choose an item used for sensory based input that can be used in a whole new way.  Use this month as a time to revitalize your energy and creativity with your everyday equipment, as well as interactions with your clients and children.

Did You Know?

Our new Spring/Summer 2008 Catalog is out.  If you would like to receive a copy, you can go to our website to request a copy for free!

Click here to get your new catalog.