Southpaw Enterprises - Pawprint
April 2013
AOTA Annual Conference
AOTA 2013 Conference
Therapist's Corner
The Changing Face of Autism
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
Deanna Maciole

1 in 250...Those were the statistics when I started life as an occupational therapist.  Autism was something that we touched upon during school, but not much different than Cerebral Palsy or Down Syndrome.  And now the numbers are reported at 1 in 50. I have been a pediatric OT treating in a variety of areas, homes, schools, clinic based, and in the community for over 10 years.  However, the face of Autism has changed and intensified during these years.  And based on these numbers, it should not be a surprise that Autism has actually shaped and developed me as a therapist and a person; just as it has our schools, daycares, and so many community programs.


I still remember the first child on my caseload that had the Autism diagnosis. As a new graduate, there was so much that intrigued me and I wanted to learn everything that I could about the child and the diagnosis.  I was thirsting for the knowledge and ready to eat it up.  And although there were many resources, the information often was still vague, and there was not the mass quantity that there is available today.   Websites and organizations such as Autism Speaks, were not yet developed, as well as the knowledge and technology were definitely not where they are today.


In addition, I often reflect on the first parents I worked with trying to figure out why their child seemed "different".  For one family, it was a child at almost 3 years old that showed no interest in opening up any present at Christmas, or knew the exact route Mom needed to take home from daycare; a daycare that never worked with a child on the spectrum.  For another family, it was a daughter who had a toy room filled with toys, but never interacted to engage in play with any of them.  For me, these were difficult situations, but growing ones.  A major challenge then was that these parents never heard of the word Autism.  They had no clue what characteristics would put their child on the spectrum.  Autism then was not known like it was today.  Therefore, it made the process a bit more difficult and definitely longer.  Today, it appears that we almost all know someone who loves a child with Autism, as well as medical staff, teachers, and daycare workers are all being educated and informed in order to better understand and care for our children.


Today, with increased knowledge and learning about Autism, the signs and symptoms have changed and have become more specific.  The Autism Speaks website ( list the "red flags" for the possibility of being at risk:


 Read and Discuss the Rest of the Article on our Blog 
Southpaw Employee Spotlight
This month's featured employee is Kris Gant.  Kris is the Administrative Manager at Southpaw and has been with the company since 1993.  She wears many hats at Southpaw, and says that she enjoys the accounting and financial portion of her job the best.  She has always liked dealing with numbers and likes the research aspects found within the financial side of running a business.
When she's not at work, Kris enjoys spending time with her daughter traveling and visiting new places.  She also likes to read when she has spare time.
Kris' favorite Southpaw product was the Variable Axis Swing for the longest time, but now she says it is a tie between the Marvelous Marble Panel and the new ICE Popcorn Tube from our Sens-Aura from Southpaw line.
When asked about her most memorable moment at Southpaw, she says "That's a tough one because I have had many great moments here.  While I didn't know it at the time, I would have to say probably when Frank Howard bought the company.  While Southpaw has always been recognized for the top quality products produced, Frank has taken this company to a whole other level.  The previous owner was content to keep Southpaw small, but Frank has strived to help Southpaw and its employees to reach our greatest potential.  I can proudly say that I love working here, and as I approach my 20 year mark - I can't wait to see what the next 20 years brings for both Southpaw and myself!"
Quick Links
Southpaw Custom Support Structure

Custom Support Structure
  Southpaw's Custom Support Structure is the answer for therapists who cannot install a suitable ceiling support eye bolt for suspending swings. Our staff will help you design your structure to fit your space. 

 Linear Glider Tent Cover

Linear Glider Tent Cover
This Tent has it all! Our Linear Glider Tent Cover works with the Adult Linear Glider to provide a small space for the over-stimulated client. Unlike other swings that provide some bit of enclosure, the Linear Glider Tent Cover provides the ability for a therapist and child, or two peers to work on activities at the same time.  
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 Variable Axis Swing

Variable Axis Swing

The Variable Axis Swing allows clients to be moved in a number of different directions. From general swinging on any axis to spinning with Southpaw's Rotational Device, this swing provides comfort while your clients are positioned in vertical and horizontal planes. The swing is a great way to address spatial awareness as well as vestibular and proprioceptive inputs.
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