Pawprint, April 2014

Southpaw Employee Inducted into the Montgomery County Development Disabilities Hall of Fame for the 2014 Personal Achievement Award

In his 25 years working at Southpaw Enterprises, Phillip Rowland's dedication and positive outlook have shown him to be truly one of a kind.  "I just wish I had a dozen more Phillips" said the president of Southpaw Enterprises.  With all Phillip accomplishes daily, it isn't hard to see why.
Phillip has one of the most important and difficult jobs within the company.  As an Edge Cutter he is responsible for placing vinyl onto boards that will be stretched by hand, stapled, and eventually made into swings, bicycles, and other adaptive equipment for individuals with disabilities.  Phillip is consistently up to the task, and he doesn't stop there.  When he does take a rare break from his assigned duties, he can often be found in other departments helping coworkers with whatever needs to be done.  He also participates in the selling of products by modeling product in the company's catalog.  It is this level of persistence that has made him the "best worker" in the eyes of supervisor John Grieshop.
Beyond his strong work ethic, Phillip sets a positive example for his peers through his upbeat attitude.  "Refreshing", "dependable", and "always in a good mood" are but a few ways he has been described by coworkers.  He goes out of his way to make everyone's day better, whether it's by his warm smile or by remembering everyone's birthday.
Phillip Rowland is an inspiring individual who consistently displays kindness to everyone he meets and has spent much of his life aiming to make things better for others.
Therapist's Corner
Deanna Maciole
Pulling Together Your Team
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L

Johnny hates to wear jeans, Kelly seems to be 'on the go' all the time, Michael covers his ears when he hears the lawn mower, and Melissa cries when her mom puts her on a swing. We have all heard about and seen these children, and for those who are experienced in working with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) these are common statements. However, for many, especially parents it is very difficult for them to understand and grasp the concept of the sensory system and the role it plays in our day-to-day life.


Many people feel that we all have sensory concerns, which is true, but it is when it gets in the way of our "functional" living that it becomes an issue. Sensory processing is used to describe how the nervous system receives information from the body's senses and then turns that information into a response. When discussing SPD, individuals who are affected by this present with disorganized or inappropriate responses, often times being described as 'behavioral'.   It is difficult for parents to truly discern what is sensory and what is age appropriate. For example, two-year-olds often try to gain control of situations, such as refusing to eat or dress when asked by a parent, but for a child with SPD, they often do not make the choice of how they respond. There is a reason they may not want to eat, whether it be texture or taste, and they may struggle with transitioning between short sleeve and long sleeve shirts due to tactile defensiveness.  


Many children who exhibit sensory processing concerns often have another diagnosis as well, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, or Down Syndrome, however for others, it is purely a stand alone diagnosis. It is these stand alone situations that are often the most difficult to identify, and for parents to understand. Children appear to be 'typical' but there is some reason that life is not going smoothly at home or school, or situations just seen too difficult for a child to cope with.


As professionals we often become frustrated when we feel parents are not "pulling their weight" at home, or that they are not taking the time to help carryout suggestions, however we need to realize that most parents are tired, overworked, and often just don't understand. In addition, we say we work as a "team" but then feel it is better not to have the parents be part of the therapy session or the activities in the classroom. How could we expect them to be "team" players when we are not educating, including, or encouraging them. And it does not go with out saying that it is known that not all parents strive to be participants. However, this does not mean they do not want the best for the child, we just need to find out at which level we need to interact and connect with them.


Therefore, using strategies such as pulling parents in for portions of sessions, using video, or even teaching sessions will help the parents to become more comfortable, have a better understanding, as well as see how things are performed in the school or therapy setting. Today's technology with smart phones, make it easy to take video and send snippets to parents. In addition, communication is key. So having some regular way of communicating whether at the end of session, via email, or log is very important. Once the parents are on board to be a team player, they will help with the facilitation of strategies at home and the child will make progress as a faster pace. Making it a win-win situation for everyone.


We need to realize that the number one players on any child's team are the parents. Whether a teacher or therapist, realizing that the importance of pulling the parents into treatment planning, and teaching is the most beneficial for the child involved.    They are the ones who are the constant in the child's life. Teachers change each year, therapists are seen in small doses and often are every-changing, so it is important to pull in the child's number one fan-their parent or caregiver!

Southpaw MSE
  Why Southpaw MSE?
Southpaw Products
Convertible Climbing Walls
Convertible Climbing Walls
 A climbing wall is an excellent tool for motor planning skills. Children must plan what their next step will be, where to place their feet, where to place their hands, and how much strength is needed.


Hot Dog Kits
Hot Dog Kits
A new necessity for the fun and active therapy clinic. Your clients will have a blast as you transform them into a complete human hot dog using the components of this kit.
Using the popular Body Sox, clients will be eager to become the top dog as the experience spatial and body awareness.

Southpaw Vibro Rocker
Southpaw Vibro Rocker
Our Vibro seating has two bass shaking speakers that offer vibratory input to your clients. Each piece has a built-in connector that uses speaker wires that are easily connected or disconnected from our stereo units.

Parent Zone
Mr. Alex's 5 Favorite Therapeutic Activities with Southpaw's 3-in-1 Barrel Swing
Alexander Lopiccolo, COTA

*All activities are recommended to be supervised by an adult and with stand by assistance for safety.


Southpaw Barrel Swing 1. Tuck, Swing and Flick - Hang the trapeze bar about 6 - 10 ft. from the vertical barrel. Place a stuffed animal on the floor 1 ft. behind the trapeze. The child will trap the stuffed animal between their ankles while grabbing the trapeze bar and leaning backwards. Then cue them to flex their knees towards their chest while pulling up with their arms in motion and flick with their legs to fling the stuffed animal into the vertical barrel. 


2. Crawl in Space Challenge - Hang the 3-in-1 Barrel Swing from 2 suspension points. Have your child lay on their stomach parallel on top of the barrel swing looking over the edge. Then they will flex their chin and go inverted and pull their body inside of the barrel while on their back. They will then pull themselves with their arms back on top of the swing to complete the challenge. 


3. Team Pumping - Two peers will sit back to back while pumping with both arms feeding off each others rhythm to propel the swing in motion with fluidity. The adult can have the children reach for objects to pass off to the other peer to throw at a target. 


4. Vertical Barrel Push-Up Record - Stand the barrel up vertically. Have the child press themselves into it while you stabilize the barrel. Then the child can jump and press themselves with both arms to perform a vertical push-up. The child can write their personal record on the chalkboard to keep track of their progress.


5. Fun Rodeo Ride  - One child will straddle the 3-in-1 Barrel Swing while the other child is on their stomach inside the barrel with their body tucked inside. The child on top will pump to propel the swing to take their friend for a ride. Play their favorite music to make it extra fun.


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