I just got home from a disturbing OT therapy appointment through the EI program here. We've been going to PT for about 6 months, what DS really needs is OT but is still on the waiting list for the initial evaluation. Anyway, because there are kids waiting for an eval for over 9 mos to a year, they decided to create a group therapy to do a general eval and give us some things to work on at home etc. It's run by the head of OT, and a few other OTs, and edus. Anyway, after going for a few weeks, we arrived at the room today and it was the first day of "separation". DS is 18 months old, just beginning to talk, not walking and with some kind of sensory issues but not fitting in with autism criteria.
I was shocked that they wanted the parents in a separate room - I wasn't expecting this and I just don't see how my DS was going to learn from new experiences while he might be upset that I was no where to be seen and I was taken into a room with the other moms and the head of OT (who I would have thought would be interested in working directly with the kids or observing) who gave us handout and described some therapies we would be trying at home. I thought we were going to be taught - either directly or by observation, not with handouts sitting around a table. When we returned to the therapy room at the end of the session, there was my DS all puffy eyed, red faced and wimpering, watching the door, sitting on an OTs lap during the goodbye song, which he always used to participate in happily. I don't hover or smother, but am usually around for him to glance at when he is unsure. Today I was just flat out gone.
Anyway, my question is: is there a reason for separation during OT for sensory issues (at 18 mos, and dev delayed at that)? I just feel totally uncomfortable with this and am not seeing the benefit of it, for anyone. At this point, I can't return to the sessions because I don't want to leave him alone. I am also disappointed because today we were supposed to be taught the brushing protocol, and instead they tried it on him while he was alone - and we still have no brush or instructions. Should I find another program? There is a shortage of OTs here, and I'm not sure if there is anything else available. So frustrated!!