Southpaw Enterprises
April 2012
Product Spotlight 
  Southpaw Weighted Seek and Find

Southpaw Weighted Seek & Find

We added our own personal touch on a favorite visual motor therapeutic activity! Not only does this new item provide deep pressure to the lap area to help calm and organize, it also allows clients of various physical abilities to enjoy a great game of Seek and Find. The weighted version is also a great way to pull in bilateral strengthening during the shake up. A definite must have that is ideal for itinerant therapists!

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Southpaw Spring 2012 Catalog

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AOTA Annual Conference - This Week!
2012 AOTA Annual Conference

We will also be in booth #515 at the annual AOTA Conference in Indianapolis on April 26-28.  Be sure to stop by, check out our new products, and grab some goodies from us!
Help the Autism Society
Autism Society 5k Walk/Run

Help Team Southpaw raise money for the Dayton Autism Society's 5k Walk/Run at Payne Recreation Center in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday April 28th. If you are in the Dayton area, you can set up your own team and participate, or if not you can help by sponsoring Southpaw's team by going to the link below. Thank you for your support.

5k Walk/Run for Autism Website 


Therapy Talk
Deanna Maciole
Teaming Up for Heavy Work
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
April is a busy month with recognizing and celebrating the work of occupational therapists, as well as helping to raise the awareness of Autism.  And for many of us, these two things often go hand in hand, whether we are parents, therapists, or teachers.  Almost every OT in the pediatric field has worked with or been touched by a child with Autism, and in return almost every child with Autism has had some connection to an occupational therapist. Therefore, this month we are going to look at these two areas and highlight a few strategies and products that are used by occupational therapists to enhance the lives of our children with Autism.

Children with Autism often demonstrate a variety of sensory processing difficulties.  From being tactile defensive to seeking out movement, these children typically require interventions to help keep their systems in an ideal regulated state.  Many children demonstrate difficulty with attention or focus, and the ability to sit for activities such as fine motor tasks or circle time.  Providing proprioceptive input is one strategy that can be utilized to help with achieving overall regulation and attention.

Proprioceptive input, or "heavy work", is resistive input that helps to obtain self-regulation, improve attention, achieve an ideal state of arousal and improve muscle tone.  It has also been identified as a way to help decrease tactile defensiveness.   Heavy work activities include a broad range of ideas.  From carrying to pushing and pulling, to jumping or chewing, these are all ways to achieve proprioceptive input.  In addition, proprioceptive input can easily be obtained without the need of a ton of equipment.  Heavy work activities are used ideally as a way to prepare children for tasks that require attention and focus, as well as a way to finish up and regulate the sensory system after vestibular input.

To highlight a few quick ways to incorporate heavy work activities, it is easiest to break them down into areas.  So when looking at activities that use movement, performing animal walks, such as crab and bear walks, or wheelbarrow walks are a great way to provide proprioceptive input.  This is also a fun way to have children transition between activities or from room to room. Many household tasks provide "heavy work" naturally, such as carrying groceries, pushing and pulling the laundry basket, and stacking crates or boxes for the big basement re-organization project.  Jumping itself offers a nice amount of proprioceptive input, so just incorporating various jumping activities into everyday play, as well as climbing will help provide your child with a good amount of input.  Have children climb up the large hill at the park or spend some time on the local playground equipment. For fine motor proprioceptive input, having children hide and find small objects in playdough, clay, or putty helps let the fingers do the "heavy" work.  Kneading dough for bread or cookies is another way to keep those fingers moving that offer a yummy end goal. Orally, proprioceptive input can be provided through sucking thick liquids through a straw, such as a tasty milkshake, or providing snacks that require extra work for biting and chewing, such as sourdough pretzels, carrots, or celery.

Another way to provide proprioceptive input is through the use of weighted items, such as weighted blankets, hats, and vests.  These items are often used when trying to help a child sit and attend for activities, decrease a high level of arousal or assist with achieving a state of calmness.  The outcome of these items may vary with individuals, but they have been shown to be beneficial in many scenarios. And when using these items, it is best to consult with an occupational therapist for a proper wearing protocol.  At this time Southpaw has expanded its line of weighted items that offer the ability to be used with increased ease and in a variety of settings.  Their new Weighted Lap Blanket, Weighted Lap Belt and Weighted Seek and Find are ideal for home, school and clinic use.  

So, as we take the time this month to increase our knowledge and awareness for the Autism population, we want to highlight some of the ways that occupational therapists use their sensory knowledge to work with these individuals, helping them learn new skills and achieve higher levels of functioning.

More Great Products from Southpaw

Southpaw Table & Chairs

Southpaw Table & Chairs

Say move over to those hard, wooden table and chairs. Our soft Table and Chairs are developed and designed with high density foam and heavy weight vinyl offering your clients a comfortable, yet functional option to complete a variety of tasks. The specially designed chairs encourage proper sitting position while providing enough back support. This fun and comfortable arrangement is a great option for children with a variety of needs, including your little wiggle worms.


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Advantage Line Moon Swing

Advantage Line Moon Swing

Launch off to space with a new member to the Moon Swing Family! The Advantage Line Moon Swing offers all the same benefits of the original Moon Swing, but has a permanent insert. The firm insert allows the client to stand, kneel or do complicated riding activities. The Advantage Line Moon Swing is a fun and exciting way to provide vestibular input while improving the skills of balance, bilateral coordination, and core stability.

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