A little background:
My daughter, Alyssa, is turning 4 this Saturday. She was diagnosed with apraxia at around 26 months, and has been in speech therapy ever since. When she turned 3, the early intervention program in my area turned her case over to the public school system, and from that point on, she's been having speech therapy at a public school twice per week for 1/2 and hour each session.
Alyssa also started full days of preschool at a Catholic school nearby this past August. Since then, she has had bus transportation from her school to the public school on days she has ST. Because of lack of resources, her bus trip TO the public school (2 miles away) was 45-60 minutes long, and her return trip was only 10 minutes. It was really hard on Alyssa, as it would be on anyone to ride the bus that long, so last month I decided to drop her off at the public school myself, and let her ride the bus back to preschool.
Since then, we've experienced a lot of separation anxiety. Alyssa starts crying the night before and tells me she doesn't want to go to ST. Then, when the therapist comes to walk her back to the classroom, Alyssa tries to latch herself onto me and starts bawling. Sometimes, Alyssa would spend the entire session crying about how she missed her mommy. :-(
Last week, another little girl started ST at the public school with Alyssa. Alyssa was sad to leave me, but didn't cry at all. Yesterday, Alyssa seemed fine as she walked down the hall to ST, but that afternoon, the therapist called me. She said the therapist was reading a book to the 2 girls, and when she looked up, Alyssa had tears in her eyes. So she told Alyssa, "Alyssa, don't cry now," and that's when Alyssa started bawling. So she sent Alyssa away from the table and made her sit on the floor.
When I picked up Alyssa from preschool that afternoon, she told me "Miss Erica put me in time out today because I was crying and she couldn't hear what Elizabeth was saying."
What are your thoughts on this? I know the therapist was just trying to keep Alyssa from disrupting her work with the other little girl, but putting a not-quite 4-year-old in time out for crying seems a little excessive to me.
I mean, Alyssa wasn't making any noise until the therapist told her NOT to cry (which always has a reverse effect on me, too). Maybe I'm just being a defensive Mama Bear, but it seems harsh to punish a child for being overly sensitive.
Should I pull Alyssa out of the program? Wait it out for the remainder of the school year and hope there's another therapist next year?
I've already talked to the therapist and suggested that next time she try to distract Alyssa by asking her about some of her favorite things or something, rather than calling attention to her tears.