Pawprint - August, 2016
Deanna Maciole
Working Through the Back to School Jitters for Parents and Students
Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L

The "back-to-school" grind brings a mix of emotions to both students and parents. It seems as if the parents are the ones running around making sure that everything falls into place-from school clothes to supplies to all the ingredients needed for a good healthy lunch. Parents carry a ton of anxiety on how to transition from summer to school mode, and students carry anxiety about all the "newness" of the school year.  Parents play an important role in helping to transition into this phase. Especially for those children who struggle with difficulty during anxious situations, parents can help foster a positive attitude as well as ways to keep their child calm.

So parents, before that first day starts... 

Working Through the Back to School Jitters for Parents and Students

Bubble Breakthrough
Sarah Gilbert, MS OTR/L

Have you ever had a pediatric client with an ASD diagnosis who presented like this...Spirited and struggling at school, at home and in the community, with challenges that include anxiety, attention, emotional modulation and positive participation in functional, school and play activities?

Did he or she demonstrate some or many of the following challenges?
*    Understanding abstract thought/humor, sensory triggers
*    Repetitive behaviors; tough social communication
*    Struggles with physical activities, especially with initiation and interactive play, with a tendency toward clumsiness
*    Lack of insight and rigid thinking
*    A reduced ability to incorporate learned skills into daily activities, such as play and social participation
*    Verbosity, with repetitive or obsessive conversations and thoughts
*    Anxiety that manifests in many areas of daily life, all to the exclusion of smelling the roses
*    Easily tripped up by others' emotions, while struggling to identify and express their own
*    Reduced or absent displays of joy and emotional modulation
*    Very little allowance of hugs or any other physical contact
*    Does not relate to the activities and conversations of the other children at school, and has trouble developing and maintaining friendships
*    Discomfort with appropriate eye-contact
*    Timid to approach new activities
*    Strict daily routines with predictable home environment required for success
*    Unexpected changes or perceived failure at a task results in withdrawal or outbursts
*    Difficulty with transitions
*    Strong reactions to sensory input with accompanying scores on standardized sensory processing assessments
*    Sleep interruptions

Whew! And the list could go on and on.

Bubble Breakthrough

Sarah Gilbert is an Occupational Therapist currently residing in Boise, Idaho. She has been treating children with ASD and various disorders in a Southpaw-designed for over a year. Each month Sarah will share her success stories in this new article with Pawprint subscribers.

Before- and After-School Activities to
Help with School

Created by Alex Lopiccolo, COTA/L from

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.
Sensory Diet Activities
Lindsey Biel, OTR/L

Southpaw Small Marble Panel
Just as your child needs food throughout the course of the day, the need for sensory input must also be met. A "sensory diet" (coined by OT Patricia Wilbarger) is a carefully designed, personalized activity plan that provides the sensory input a person needs to stay focused and organized throughout the day. Just as you may jiggle your knee or chew gum to stay awake or soak in a hot tub to unwind children need to engage in stabilizing, focusing activities too. Infants, young children, teens, and adults with mild to severe sensory issues can all benefit from a personalized sensory diet.

Read this entire article, which includes a Sensory Diet Checklist, at

Sensory Processing Challenges

Lindsey Biel is the author of the book "Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens" available at
Bubble Tube with Platform  

Our Bubble Tubes are available with Interactive or Relaxation functionality, and the padded platform that surrounds the tube offers your clients a soft comfortable seat. Both Interactive and Relaxation models allow clients to enjoy the vibratory input offered by the movement of the bubbles/beads and the visual sensory input provided by the gradual changing color of the LEDs. And... our Bubble Tubes use the Simple Drain™ system, making water changes stress free.

The platform fits comfortably into a corner of your MSE room without intruding on the other sensory integration models.

Each Bubble Tube Platform comes with a Bubble Tube Security Bracket. This Security Bracket makes it safe for any person to get the gentle tactile effects the Tubes offer. The lights for the Bubble Tube are LED and never have to be changed. Same price: Small, Medium or Large Bubble Tube! You make the decision based on what is best for your clients.

Our Interactive Bubble Tube with platform offers wireless capabilities when used with the Interactive Super Switch or Interactive Power Cube (sold separately). Therapist directed. Client controlled.

Dimensions: 36"L x 36"W x 17.5"H (Platform With Pad) 


Southpaw MSE has created a new state-of-the-art showroom highlighting our equipment and is sponsoring an MSE Basic Training course at our facility in Moraine, OH. Training is designed to give the participant "Core Concepts," leading to the understanding and practice of a Multi-Sensory Dynamic Systems Approach. The courses and requirements will be geared to giving the student the knowledge and experience necessary to have a solid foundation in the Multi-Sensory Dynamic Systems Technique.

Linda Messbauer, MA, OTR/L, or an Experienced Certified Trainer from AAMSE, will conduct the training courses. Linda is one of the world's leading experts on Multi-Sensory Environments. She has over 30 years' experience and was the first person to create a Snoezelen/MSE room in the United States. Her mission is to assist organizations, groups and individuals who wish to utilize Multi-Sensory Environments to provide treatment and quality care to the people they serve. Linda is a recognized international trainer and founding member of the American Association of Multi-Sensory Environments.

  1. Understand basic complex neural networks of the brain and their impact on the use of MSE with people with special needs
  2. Understand interfering stress and its detrimental effects on the human being in relation to age, state and quality of life as it impacts our memory ability to focus and to attend
  3. Understand the relaxation process and how the MSE can reverse and prevent the detrimental effects of stress by using the joy/pleasure response
  4. Understand the use of changing arousal to facilitate attention and focus
  5. Understand and be able to demonstrate setting up MSE equipment protocols and basic sensory diets
  6. Develop, understand and write specific individualized outcome measurement strategies
A Certificate of Attendance with contact hours will be awarded upon completion of the MSE Basic Training course.

DATES:  October 7-8

Training will be held at the Southpaw MSE Showroom:
2350 Dryden Road
Moraine, OH  45439

Cost for the 2-day training session is $495.  To register or learn more, contact Tom Marshall at

If you need to fly to Dayton for the training, you will use the James A. Cox International Airport.  There are a number of hotels near the airport. The Fairfield Inn by Marriott has a shuttle from the airport to the hotel, and Southpaw will provide transportation from the hotel to the training site.
Quilted Weighted Vest

Table Top Dressing Mat

Vertical Stimulation Device

Table Top Dressing Mat
Vertical Stimulation Device

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