Southpaw Enterprises
Pawprint May 2010
Quick Links
Southpaw on Facebook

It's important to routinely inspect your equipment for signs of wear.  Take advantage of the special offers we have now through June 30th and keep your therapy room safe! 

 See our current sale flyer below.
 Click for a larger version
Southpaw Sale Flyer
Deanna MacioleTaking a Sensory Diet on the Road 
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
Summer is almost here which means soon the kids will be out of school and you may be packing up the bags to venture out for your yearly "summer" vacation.  From the disruption in daily routines, to the overstimulation and excitement, traveling with kids is never an easy task, especially for children with sensory processing disorder.  However, there is no reason to feel that you are unable to enjoy a vacation even if it takes a little extra effort to plan.  Before you even begin to pack the suitcases, as parents you need to identify both what type of vacation setting and means of travel is most ideal for your family.  You want to make sure that you try your best to keep some parts of your daily routine intact, but remember that change and flexibility are also good for our kiddos.
Whether you are going to be traveling by plane, car or train, there are some strategies that will help ease the trip for any child. Make sure you are well equipped with  the right toys, music and movies, but it is also important to ensure you have a variety of regulatory options available to help to maintain a daily sensory diet.
For the child who finds comfort in tactile play, pack a bag full of tactile toys that are both fun in the car and outdoors. Any of the stretchy rubber balls and animals are great for this and travel easily.  Put together gallon size baggies of various media including beans, rice, or dry pasta.  These are even ideal when waiting at a restaurant.  In addition, take advantage of the natural situations that present themselves.  For example, if you are taking a trip to a state park, allow your children to get close to nature by hiking through the creeks, playing in the mud, and exploring the bugs and insects.   If you are headed to the beach, allow them the time to play in the water and sand.  And for those children who are hypersensitive to some of these inputs, give them the opportunity to experience them within their comfort zone.
If your child has extra energy and tends to need lots of movement, then planning a vacation that involves swimming, beach playing, and hiking is right up your alley.  To allow for movement breaks while traveling in the car, choose music that encourages motions.  Make stops frequently, choosing restaurants that have play areas, and state parks that have playgrounds or rest stops that allow your child to run around.  Although this will add time to your travel, it will definitely pay off in the end with a happier and more regulated child.
If your child seeks out deep pressure, swimming is an excellent proprioceptive input.  In addition, allow your child the comfort of traveling with weighted equipment.  From using a weighted blanket in the car or on the plane to wearing a weighted hat or shoulder wrap while at the beach, amusement park, or just relaxing will help keep them calm and regulated.  In addition, if your child is following the Deep Pressure Proprioceptive Technique Protocol remember that the brushes are small enough to travel anywhere.
For those children who crave oral input, packing items to provide this is easy to do.  In the car allow them to take their drinks through a straw, and pack tough chewy items for snacks such as Tootsie Rolls, sourdough pretzels, carrots and gum.  In addition, when making a pit stop, give them a whistle or some bubbles to blow.

Although it may take extra planning, traveling with children can be lots of fun.  Work with your child's therapist to set up an ideal sensory diet based on your travel destination and her needs. Remind yourself that the time you get to spend with your child and the memories you create will be worth all the extra work.  Happy and safe travels to everyone! Logo
Where Making Friends, Makes a Difference is a safe and secure online social community for Parents, Professionals and Special Needs Children. This unique and user-friendly site which is decorated with animated sensory breaks and colorful graphics, assists children in finding friends across the country, and offers them a place to correspond without geographical barriers through e-mail, blogs, and a handwritten letter platform. A Therapal can be a child with social emotional issues, chronic illnesses, autism, speech delays, mild to moderate learning disabilities, or even a child who is just sad. Parents can share their stories, joys, and frustrations of raising a child with disabilities or search for professionals who specialize in a specific disability. Licensed Professionals who work directly with special needs children can utilize the program to search for other professionals, create a link to children on their caseload, market themselves, promote their profession and educate parents on ways to help their child become more independent. Features:

  • Sensory Breaks- Animated Therapals pop up at intervals set by parent or professional.  Engages a child to complete heavy work activities.
  • Printable sensory program available to follow throughout computer session.
  • Printable History log- Tracks friend requests, sensory breaks, profile changes and current status.
  • Blog- A personal diary, a collaborative space to share news, events and feelings.
  • Handwritten letter Platform- designed to promote traditional pen pal relationships.
  • Matching Program- uniquely matches each user to others who have similar likes and dislikes.
  • Visual Schedules- Increases independence throughout the site. Schedulers include: How to blog, email, login, complete sensory breaks and how to access the history log.
  • Printable Parent Guidebook- Includes Visual Schedules, handwritten letter platform, fine motor activity, matching game, and Additional sensory activities.
Cost to Join
Licensed Professional - Free
Parent and child - $12.95 total per month
Email questions to:
Launch Date- May 25, 2010

Sens-Aura from Southpaw 

Sens-Aura Catalog CoverSouthpaw is proud to introduce Sens-Aura, a line of products for multi-sensory environments (MSE's).  Besides providing even more quality Southpaw products that you've come to know and rely on, we are offering MSE room design and installation, on-site training, and custom design & manufacturing.
Be sure to go to our new Sens-Aura website at, where you can browse and order products, request a new catalog, or learn more about MSE's.