Deanna Maciole
Play: The Recipe for Hand Development
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L

It seems as if, today, we find so much information about how to academically prepare our children for the classroom. How the standards for starting kindergarten have drastically changed over the years! Considering the evolution from years ago, when the beginning of a child's academic career focused on play and peer interaction, to today, children being able to start reading simple chapter books and writing a paragraph consisting of a couple of sentences, it is true that kindergarten has become the new first grade. Besides a huge focus on math and reading, we are asking our children to do more than just write their ABC's. Children often become fatigued, making writing and coloring a non-favored activity, which is actually one task where children can easily demonstrate creativity in the classroom. There are a lot of different developmental components that contribute to writing performance in the classroom, but overall grasp on tools is key.

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Star Gazer 

Bring peace and the night sky to those in need of soothing. The Southpaw Star Gazer can shine continuously in your home or facility. Gazers can add blue and/or white clouds to their experience and can also control the speed of the passing "stars." The unit has a cooling fan and a replaceable laser that lasts 3,000 hours, and Southpaw will cover the cost of changing 1 new laser, meaning this unit will last through 6,000 hours of reliable, maintenance-free gazing.

Developed in conjunction with the Hospice of Dayton, the Star Gazer has been instrumental in alleviating symptoms of anxiety, agitation, dyspnea, pain and insomnia in patients.

Other data has shown that use of the Star Gazer has resulted in decreasing heart rate, respiratory rate and frequent need for breakthrough medications in many patients. Offer a peaceful presence to viewers with Star Gazer's starry night. 

Therapeutic Interventions with the Southpaw Acrobat Swing
by Alex Lopiccolo, COTA/L, CPT, NC


Coming up on October 7 and 8, Southpaw will be hosting another two-day Multi-Sensory Environment training session at our new location in Moraine, Ohio. Watch for more information coming out soon!
Platform Swing

Hemisphere Mirror

Snuggle Swing

Platform Swing
Interactive Hemisphere Mirror
Snuggle Swing

Most therapy equipment takes quite a beating. Southpaw works hard to design equipment around this fact by using the best materials available. However, even the best piece of equipment will have a finite life.

In the few instances of equipment failures we have seen over the years, most have been a result of parts wearing completely through, such as eyebolts breaking or ropes failing. The vast majority of failures can be completely prevented by simple, routine inspections and maintenance.

A Comprehensive 3-Step Inspection and Maintenance Program includes the following:

1. Training

All therapists who will use the equipment must familiarize themselves with the instruction sheet and maintenance checklist that comes with each item purchased from Southpaw. Both documents, which include a list of all parts, setup procedures (if applicable), safety notes, inspection point, and cleaning and storage instructions, need to be kept in a fully accessible, known location.

2. Know What Needs to be Inspected

As noted above, each item from Southpaw includes an instruction sheet and maintenance checklist. Each instruction sheet lists items to inspect on the product as well as inspection intervals. Following these guidelines will bring your attention to the wear on a piece of equipment before it becomes dangerous.

In addition to inspecting the specific points noted on the checklist, therapists must always inspect each piece of equipment as a whole before and after each use. The last person to use the equipment may have changed or reconfigured something that makes its use inappropriate for the next person.

3. Master Schedule

Developing a regular inspection and maintenance master schedule is one of the most significant steps you must take to keep equipment, therapists and clients safe.

A master schedule is highly detailed and includes a comprehensive list of all items requiring inspection, the related instruction sheets and checklists, and the dates on which each inspection should take place. The program should specifically identify assigned groups or persons to perform each task.

The importance of proper, scheduled maintenance cannot be overstated.
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