Southpaw Enterprises
Pawprint  February 2010
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The Original Southpaw's SteamrollerSteamroller by Southpaw 

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.

For more information on Southpaw's Steamroller, click here.
Southpaw Weighted VestsSouthpaw Weighted Vests

Southpaw's Weighted Vests are designed with an emphasis on durability and comfort, and are cut to maximize ventilation for the client.
For more information on Southpaw's Weighted Vests, click here.

Warning Regarding Imitation Southpaw Products

It has come to our attention that other companies have been replicating and selling imitation Southpaw products. Since quality and safety is of the utmost importance to us and to our customers, we want you to be aware of this situation. When purchasing Southpaw products from someone other than a Southpaw Enterprises representative directly or through our website, please verify with the person you are speaking with that you will be receiving authentic Southpaw products. 
If you have any questions or concerns about a product you are interested in purchasing, please call our customer service line at 800-228-1698.
Deanna MacioleLooking 'Deep' for Ways to Calm
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
As adults, in our daily lives we are always naturally choosing techniques that calm and regulate us.  We have learned that chewing gum during a staff meeting helps us to stay alert or to fall asleep at night we need to have a blanket on us no matter how warm it may be.  These are those little things we do to feed our sensory systems.  Every day we all use coping mechanisms despite not having a diagnosis that includes sensory processing concerns.  From the time we were infants we began the process of trying to figure out what made us tick, but oftentimes it required the assistance of our parents.  For example, it was our parents who figured out that wrapping us in a swaddling blanket or providing us with a pacifier would quiet our cries.  Inherently we then began the process learning what our systems required.
For many of our children with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) or diagnoses that included sensory difficulties, figuring out what their bodies need is still very hard for them.  And oftentimes when their systems become over stimulated, they communicate their discomfort with crying or with a tantrum.  In addition, these children may exhibit an increase in activity demonstrating difficulty to attend and focus on more involved tasks.  Therefore, we are left with trying to find ways to calm, organize and allow them to increase their abilities to attend.   It usually requires the teamwork of parents, therapists, teachers and aides.  One successful technique for calming is to provide deep pressure.  Deep pressure is input that is provided in a firm and strong manner.
It can be applied by simply giving a massage, providing hugs and squeezes, or a good roll up in a blanket. Other ideal ways to provide deep pressure includes the use of wearable weighted items, the Steamroller, and various activities.  Weighted equipment has expanded outside of just weighted vests.  However, these are still ideal because in most cases the weight can be individually measured for each child.  It is recommended that an occupational therapist be consulted when using one to ensure that the proper weight and time protocols are followed. Other weighted items include blankets which are helpful in providing deep pressure to the whole body.  These are very beneficial for calming before nap and bed times.  Hats, shoulder wraps, and lap pads are also available to fit both the needs and preference of a child.  The same effect may be achieved by having a child carry a backpack with weighted items around the house.  Another beneficial wearable item is a Bear Hug vest.  This vest fits snuggly around the trunk and shoulders providing deep pressure.   Since it is made of neoprene it moves easily with the child.
The Southpaw Steamroller is a fun way to incorporate providing deep pressure input during activities including obstacle courses.  It can also be used as a preparatory mechanism to organize a child before tabletop activities.  It is a great addition to any clinic or classroom.
Activities that provide deep pressure are often referred to as "heavy work".  These include animal walks, wheelbarrow walking, burrito rolls, carrying and pushing weighted items.  Simply adding heavy work activities and those that provide proproceptive input into a sensory diet will help with maintaining a child's regulation level throughout the day.
As parents, teachers and therapists we need to take on the role of trying to learn what it is that makes our children tick.  Paying attention to their stimulation levels and always knowing if it is sensory or behavioral is sometimes difficult.  So the next time you are looking for something to calm and regulate your child, remember to look "deep" for an activity or equipment to help you out.
 Southpaw Spring/Summer 2010 Catalog
The 2010 Spring/Summer catalog is available.  If you don't have one yet, request your copy here.