Southpaw Enterprises
September 2012

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Southpaw Weighted Vest

Southpaw Weighed Vest

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

Our Weighted Vests are designed with hook and loop fasteners on the sides for comfort; easy sizing, and quick removal if needed.
They are also designed with weight compartments to keep the individual weights off of the spine.

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Sens-Aura from Southpaw

Therapy Talk
Deanna Maciole
Spicing Up Therapy With a Little Bit of Pumpkin
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L

Fall is among us...the time of year, for many, that means cooler weather, color change in leaves, apple cider, and PUMPKINS.  Whether you celebrate the Halloween holiday or just the season of Fall, pumpkins are seen decorating yards and windows of homes and businesses everywhere. And who would of guessed how beneficial pumpkins could be to a child's sensory development?  So, let's explore a few ways that pumpkins can spice up your therapeutic activities at home, school or in the clinic.

Carving and decorating are the most traditional activities that involve pumpkins, and probably those that cover a variety of therapeutic areas.  When looking at carving, not only does it offer a fabulous tactile activity with the cleaning out of the guts, but it is also a great way to address bilateral skills. Fine motor, copying, and sequencing skills are focused on when designing, drawing, and cutting (with adult help) the pumpkin.  For older children, using a punch pattern, where you print out a pattern of a design, place it on the pumpkin and then they punch along (with the proper tools from a carving kit) the lines, leaving a carving guide on the pumpkin, is a nice way to work on visual motor skills with a bit of proprioceptive feedback.

When it comes to decorating the possibilities are endless, but you can address tactile and fine motor skills with using foam pieces to complete your child's masterpiece. These pieces are great at working on those pincer skills to pull of the backing and offers just enough sticky tactile input for your defensive child.  Finger-painting and the gluing of sequence, feathers or other small items are other ways to therapeutically dress up your pumpkins.

When decorating, increase your therapeutic benefits by paying attention to the positioning of the child and pumpkin, make sure you are using the most ideal size pumpkin and the child is either in a proper seat or standing at an ideal height.  The proper set up is key for addressing bilateral skills, and overall core strengthening of the trunk, shoulders and elbows.

Movement and proprioception input can be achieved by creatively adding pumpkins into traditional therapy activities.  Use mini pumpkins to have children collect along an obstacle course, obtain at the top of a Climbing Wall or Rope Ladder, or use as markers for starting and stopping animal walks or relay races. In addition, mini pumpkins are ideal for having children obtain for activities in the net swing or balance board.  In group settings, pumpkins can be used to play "Hot Pumpkin" or as a passing game.

Go pumpkin bowling by using a medium to large sized pumpkin to roll and knock down bowling pins.   Get a giant pumpkin and allow children to get their heavy work by rolling it back and forth.  In addition, pumpkins add natural weight, and can be the just the right weight to be carried, pushed or pulled in a wagon, shopping cart, laundry basket or wheelbarrow based on the child's need for proprioceptive input.
Pumpkin itself offers a distinct taste.  Therefore, pulling in any activity that offers pumpkin treats is recommended to address both oral and olfactory input.  From tasty pumpkin cookies, muffins, rolls, and dip, there are many ways to present the pumpkin taste to children.  Increase the therapeutic benefits, by having the child help and prepare the food, addressing sequencing, direction following, and self-care skills.

And getting the pumpkins themselves can be beneficial for many children.  Whether you take a trip to the pumpkin patch as a group or individually, there are many areas of need that can be addressed.  Based on a child's needs, the pumpkin patch offers a way to address social skills, interactions within the community (ie. buying items), and taking in multiple forms of sensory input, especially at pumpkin farms that offer a carnival-like atmosphere.

So now is the time year to let pumpkins naturally spice up a child's sensory diet.  As therapists, help parents analyze activities so that what they are already doing at home can be even more beneficial and rewarding to children.  Have fun pumpkin hunting!

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Did you know? 

  • That MSE Rooms can be used for Therapy as well as for recreation and relaxation with a variety of populations?  
  • That a basic MSE Room for Therapy cost under $10,000?  
  • MSE Rooms can be the ultimate space to offer treatment and set outcomes and goals for adults with Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, TBI & PTSD?  Anyone with sensory processing issues and anxiety is a candidate for treatment in a MSE.
  • That Southpaw offers comprehensive training for your staff to provide Therapy and show you how to get the best results from your investment?
  • That Southpaw makes a wide variety of VibroAcoustic seating and can customize positioning options? We can retrofit your existing furniture to be VibroAcoustic.  Alternate positioning options, including VibroAcoustic products, are effective treatment for decubitus ulcers by reducing muscle spasticity and decreasing pain. 
  • That the ICE Mini Rover Elite and a comfortable VibroAcoustic seating item is an ideal option for customers that cannot dedicate a space for an MSE?
  • That Southpaw has MSE showrooms in Dayton, OH and New York City?  We can also demo products in the Atlanta area.  See our schedule for product demonstrations at the Dayton facility in September.
  • That Southpaw MSE staff have more than 40 years' experience designing, installing and training staff in the effective use of MSE Rooms?