Southpaw Enterprises - Pawprint
July 2013
Therapist's Corner
Filling Up on the Right Tools for Success

Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L
Deanna Maciole

It goes without saying that you would not try to take a road trip across country without having your car fueled, the proper amount of oil, or working brakes.  Or you would not go backpacking across Europe without hiking boots, a backpack, and the daily essentials.  So, let's look at things on a smaller scale, why do we not prepare our children with the proper tools and "fuel" to get through the day.  Too many times, especially in the school environment we hear that "there isn't enough funds for sensory equipment" or "sensory needs are not very important at school".  BUT THEY ARE.  In essence we are setting our children up to fail, or even more, have to work harder by not having proper sensory diets developed and in place for staff and parents to carryout.  

Children with sensory processing disorder, those on the Autism Spectrum, or children who struggle with attention and self-regulation, need to have the right tools in order to be successful.  That starts with the right sensory diet.   When developed properly and strategically, a sensory diet is more than just a few suggested activities for your child. It should be individualized and developed with your child's needs, routine, environment, and resources taken into consideration.  Therefore, it requires a team approach, gathering input from all members.  

Too often we find that sensory diets are not developed, let alone carried out.  And there are many reasons behind this.  Whether it be not enough time to develop it, staff or family not having the time or knowledge to implement it, or a child's lack of interest, there seems to be a reason of why it does not happen.  But if we work together as a team, we will find that it can be done, it should be done, and in return we are helping a child be more success, learn with greater ease, and tolerate the day much easier (for the child, parents, and staff).

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Parent Pages
The Sense of Touch

Zoe Mallioux, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Zoe Mailloux
The sense of touch (or tactile sensory perception) is one of our most important senses. It begins to develop very early during pregnancy and becomes quite active long before a baby is born. Like the other senses that play an important role in sensory integration, it usually goes about doing its job without us noticing very much. Yet it is very important for allowing us to perform many skills and to feel comfortable and at ease in many situations. Babies learn a lot about the world through the sense of touch. When they go through the stage of picking up and putting everything in their mouths they are using their sense of touch to find out about shape, size and texture. This is how they first learn about the difference between things like round and square, big and little, rough and smooth, etc. If the sense of touch is not very specific, that is, it doesn't provide clear, consistent information, then it may be more difficult to understand these types of differences visually or cognitively. The hands, feet and mouth are the most sensitive areas of our bodies because they have many more cells which detect and respond to touch. We depend on information from our touch system to help us perform many skills..


Read the Rest of this Article and More on Zoe's Blog Here! 

Product Spotlight
Vertical Squeeze Swing
Vertical Squeeze Swing
Jeremy Gardner, LAC, OT

How often does a child present with decreased upper extremity/core strength and poor endurance? They may even complain of arm discomfort while sitting on a swing or just can't hold on long enough to the swing leading to some frustration during your session? Then don't  look anywhere else! Check out The Vertical Squeeze Swing. This will provide children the vestibular input many seek, while strengthening their core and upper extremity muscles as they play a fun ball game. This is the only safe 2 in 1 standing swing which enables them to use both their hands while in mid air!
Vertical Squeeze Swing Have the child enter the swing through the door then fasten the Velcro to secure the swing as they get ready to take off into their favorite spaceship game. As their body flies through space they must avoid  'debris' in the air as they duck inside the spacecraft for that deep pressure hug. And for the youngsters don't forget the donut!
 Vertical Squeeze Swing After they have landed they then go on to the next level of removing the wall of the swing and standing on the disc swing. They will increase their dynamic balance and coordination while again flying through space. 


More Information 

Quick Links
Weighted Wheelbarrows

Weighted Wheelbarrows
Using creative play, increase the challenge to your therapeutic activities with our Weighted Wheelbarrows. Just like our Weighted Shopping Carts, the Weighted Wheelbarrows are a great way to provide heavy work, address bilateral skills, and motor planning.

 Sparkle Bench

Sparkle Bench
This ultra-sturdy, solid-surface bench features colorful interactive lights that come to life in response to human touch. Perfect for motivating patients with decreased gross motor skills, and strength, coordination and cognitive deficits.
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 Weighted Blanket Fidgets

Weighted Blanket Fidgets

Add some flair to our Weighted Lap Pads and Blankets, to improve calming and attention in your clients and students. These hand fidgets and textured beanbags attach easily with Velcro to both our blankets and lap pads. While providing proprioceptive input, these fidgets will keep the hands busy, increasing organization and attention, especially during activities requiring larger amounts of sitting and listening.

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