Occupational therapy being withdrawn due to attachment difficulties

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I wanted to draw on the experience and knowledge of the forum please?

My AD has had 4 sessions of sensory integration therapy and the OT is struggling because she feels out of her depth with ADs attachment problems which show themselves by her wanting to take control of the sessions and engaging in role play which I believe is her attempt to process trauma memories? At the end of each session she will start to talk about her birth parents and will ask me various questions, there is no doubt that sensory work is triggering this for my AD but I see this as helpful for AD and not something to avoid? Much to my distress they are thinking of stopping the therapy and mentioned a referral to camhs where we've been seen previously with no direct benefit to my AD as the therapy that would have helped her was only available to children adopted from the city we live in and AD comes from elsewhere. I know there is an appropriately trained OT who specialises in attachment problems but the service only commission her to deliver this within another setting?

I really feel my daughters complexity is being seen as a reason to exclude her from the support that's helping her? Would the disability discrimination act challenge this decision? If so who would I go to for help to challenge this decision?

Thank you


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I didn't want your post to get lost. I do feel that if your OT is not up to dealing with your daughter's attachment difficulties, then she should be helping you with finding another appropriate resource. I don't know if that is CAMHS or if it is something else though. It depends on how good your local CAMHS service is. It would be awful they were one of those CAMHS services that seem to 'blame the parenting'. There are good ones though.

What is the 'other setting' for the OT that specialises in adoption? if you don't know, ask your OT, ask anyone that can help you and see if you can find out how to go about accessing this OT. Become a pushy parent, and if you're already one, become pushier! Doesn't come easily to me, but sometimes I have to do it!

I don't think they're trying to exclude your daughter though, but maybe more protecting themselves. If you can, don't take a defensive stance, but use your OT's concerns to encourage her to dig deeper for you and get the help your daughter really needs.

Good luck,

Haven xx

7 users have supported this.

Our DS had an OT assessment that showed he had sensory processing disorder. The OT felt that her knowledge of the interaction between DS's SPD and his attachment and trauma difficulties was not sufficient to treat him successfully (she was worried about making him more dysregulated through her treatment). She suggested we find someone specialised in the interaction between attachment and attachment. This is a highly specialised area.

I guess your OT is having similar reservations.

I suggest you contact social services and ask post adoption services to apply to the ASF to pay for a treatment package with a specialist OT. If your AD has other issues (eg her attachment issues), now might be the time to get a fuller assessment of her needs and an integrated package of support if you haven't already lined this up. I wouldn't recommend CAHMS!

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