Southpaw Enterprises
Pawprint December 2010
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Season's Greetings from Southpaw!

All of us at Southpaw would like to wish each and every one of you a happy holiday season.  With 2010 winding down, we are staying busy getting ready for the new year.  In January 2011, a new Southpaw catalog will be hitting your mailboxes, full of many new quality products for your clinic, school, or home.   Within the next few months, you will also see a brand new Southpaw website.  Besides an updated look, the website will have many more customer-friendly features and options that we are very excited about.  Along with the new online store, we are going to offer more virtual product demonstrations and webinars that you can view and participate in from the comfort of your own computer.  Also, we are in the process of creating several new multisensory environment products to add to our Sens-Aura line.  As you can tell, 2011 is already shaping up to be a busy and exciting year.  We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and we wish you a safe and happy new year!


Deanna MacioleYour Little Holiday Helpers
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L

It has finally arrived, that time of year that keeps us busy, stressed out, and running on empty-the Holiday Season!  Although it is such a fun, wonderful time of year that brings us closer to family and friends, it also is a time that can keep us from those we love as we struggle through our list of to-do's.   And now that we are hitting the final days, we beginning to run around like "chickens with our heads cut off".  As parents, teachers and therapists, how do we make sure that we are not transferring our stress to our children?  And how do we ensure we give our children the time, attention and focus they need to enjoy the holiday season themselves?

Although it is easier said than done, having a plan is a key.  In addition, it is great to pull your children in on your plan to help you through all those to-do's.  Yes, sometimes you may think that it will get done faster if "I just do it myself" but let us really take a look at how many holiday tasks are actually therapeutic for our children.  It will help keep the stress level down, allowing us to really 'be there' with our kids, as well as provide us with more time to partake in some of the fun seasonal events.  Here are just a few ideas of how to incorporate the 'little helpers' into the seasonal tasks that are actually therapeutic experiences.  So, focus on your child's goals and pull in what you can do to make a daily event...Functional!

Shopping- Have children write out your list of people to shop for, allowing them to be in charge of brain storming some gift ideas by looking through the oodles of store ads you receive.  This can address handwriting, visual motor scanning, and processing skills.  Increase the demands by addressing money skills and social skills in the community and have them partake in the shopping process.  For your younger children, you can provide them with a picture list (either with a picture of an item or family member) that they need to check off during the shopping trip.  These ideas will help keep the child engaged in the whole process, helping to decrease their boredom.
Baking- This is a great way to address direction following, either written or verbal, by having your child follow a recipe.  In addition, fine motor control, shoulder stability and strengthening can be addressed with precision and accuracy during scooping and pouring.  And let's not forget the sensory experiences that can be had while kneading dough.  Decorating allows children to work on visual motor skills, bilateral hand skills, as well as using silverware in a functional manner.

Wrapping- This a great way to address bilateral hand skills, scissor use and handwriting for addressing the gift tags.  You can easily break these tasks in to smaller steps and grade it to your child's ability.  For younger children, you can have pieces already pre-cut and the pieces of tape already available.

These are just a few ideas for the main 'to-do's' that clutter our lists.  As adults, sometimes we need to let go of perfection and really think about the experiences we can provide our children.   And when you realize that there may be that missed therapy session, you can feel good you have addressed goals while crossing off another item on your list!

Most importantly, allow them to become part of the season with you.  Not only is it helpful, it also provides for some great therapeutic opportunities, in turn giving you a special way to bond.

We at Southpaw wish you and your families a happy holiday season.  We thank you for the time and effort you continue give to the children you work with and those who have blessed your lives.  Best wishes for the coming year!