Southpaw Enterprises
Mobility Cycle
Pioneer Mobility Cycle
The Pioneer Mobility Cycle is the ideal mobility training and exercise cycle for children and young adults from 5 to 15 years old.  It was specifically designed for children with Cerebral Palsy, but is suitable for many riders when balance and support are critical.

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Magneatos
Magneatos
Jumbo sized magnetic construction pieces are easy to grasp.  Threaded connector pieces come in 2 sizes (about 2" and 5") and smooth balls are 2" diameter.
Fun Gripper Soccer Ball Set
Fun Gripper Soccer Ball Set
These 6" and 8" mini soccer balls are ideal for indoor soccer, and can also be used for dodge ball or catching games.  Butyl bladder with standard inflation valve.
Edublocks
Edublocks
Unique set of 50 interlocking soft blocks that are flexible and easy to stack.  Durable, washable and non-toxic.  Basic block is 4 " X 4 " X  3 ".
OGGZ™
OGGZ

Place your three OGGZ in their nesting crate and plug in the charger. Then let your clients hold them and enjoy watching the OGGZ changing colors.  Never gets hot and has no wires.

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Issue: 5 May, 2008
Southpaw Enterprises - Pawprint 

Welcome to the May edition of Pawprint, Southpaw's monthly e-newsletter designed to share information throughout the SI community.   Our new catalog is out and you can view the new prodcts we've added on our website here.  You can also request a copy of the new catalog here.

Make sure to visit us online at www.southpawenterprises.com.
 
Therapy Room Picture Contest Results
 
In April's newsletter, we asked for pictures of therapy rooms that people had set up in their homes.  Victoria Malinak sent some wonderful photos of 'Lexa's Secret Playground' that she created in her garage, with some additional help from her daughter painting the mural.
Thanks to Victoria and Lexa!

Secret Playground

Check back in next month's newsletter for another chance to win a Southpaw Gift Certificate.
Therapist Forum
Simple Strategies to Avoid a 'Wipeout' this Summer
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
Deanna Maciole

As adults, we remember this time of year quite well.  The daylight becomes longer and weather begins to warm - the ending of another school year is near.  For almost 3 months, days are filled with swimming, bike riding, and staying up late. No more sitting in a classroom trying to pay attention to math and reading lessons, writing out spelling words, or having to follow the day long school routine.  For many children, this is what they look forward to all year long; ready to expel energy and take a break from school.  However, for children with sensory difficulties, the end of the school year entails a change in routine and structure; a disruption in the world as they know it.  And being at home with a loose schedule and not fulfilling the sensory needs may lead melt downs and challenges.  So, what can parents, teachers, and therapists do to help make the transition for these children smooth?

First, it is important for all parties involved to prepare a child for the upcoming change.  Very often the use of a social story both at home and in school can assist with accomplishing this.  And although it is important to provide some routine, varying it from the school year routine allows children to work on adaptability and change.  Summer is a great time to get children involved in various activities.  More and more communities are offering enriching programs for children with various needs.  In addition, many therapy clinics will offer sensory motor play groups or camps that are aimed at addressing various sensory needs and challenges.  Parents need to look into day camps, zoo camps, or swimming programs, to name a few.  These programs provide some structure, as well as allows for social opportunities outside the home environment.

Parents can provide opportunities for movement and exploration by setting up a scavenger hunt in the backyard, taking daily trips to the playground or going to the beach to crash in the waves or build castles in the sand.  Taking trips to water and amusement parks provide an increased amount of proprioceptive and vestibular input. As parents it is important to have expectations of your child. For example, encourage the continuation of an ongoing morning and night routine. Also, based on the age of children, require them to carry out some of the daily household chores. In the beginning weeks, the use of a written or picture schedule will assist in giving notice to what will be happening throughout the day..
 
It is important to not only provide gross motor/movement activities, but to also include activities that address the fine motor skills used while in the classroom.  Too often activities that include handwriting are not exercised throughout the summer, leading to a decrease in endurance, strength, and ability to perform these tasks come the Fall.  Therefore, try to include activities to increase hand and wrist strength, such as the use of water squirters, planting flowers or using sidewalk chalk.  Have children work on writing by making a schedule for the day, writing the grocery list or even write a letter to classmates.

Therapists need to spend time with parents, so they can understand how daily routines will change and what challenges may arise.  Sensory diets need to be modified to include the activities that can be carried out within the home environment.  In addition, summer is a good time for therapist to work on the functional tasks of bike or scooter riding and rollerblading.  These activities address components of all the sensory areas.

Summer is an exciting time of year, and for many children the transition to increased activity and loose schedules is fairly easy, but with the sensory challenged child, increased planning needs to be utilized to make the transition easy and fun. So, don't get wiped out this summer, prepare and utilize your child's team and various strategies to make the smooth transition.
Did You Know?
 
Bright ideas

Do you have an idea for the next great thing in Sensory Integration?  If so, we'd love to hear from you!

Click here for more information.