My ds 3.8 (ASD with severe speech delay) has real problems with attention and can opt out of everything so quickly - even when we have reinforcers that he loves. I can't even assess what he knows and doesn't know because I cannot get his attention for any decent length of time. When he does attend he shows some really nice skills but getting that attention is a nightmare.
My DD is same age and has ASD traits tho no dx and the advice we have been given all the way through is to go with the child. Ie if you think its time for a certain activity but your ds has other ideas, go with him and reinforce all the language as you go. example from my experience with dd "ok so you dont want to do colouring, lets get dolly then, no you want a book" until they settle on something however fleeting, just keep on and hope that somewhere along the line its sinking in for them. I have often followed my dd around the house on a quest to she what she wants to do. She must think Im bonkers! Also (obviously Im sure you do anyway), make sure there are no distractions like the tv. SALT once told me of a person who she had to actually ask to turn the tv off when she arrived for a home session !!
Anicecup- I see what you mean as we are always having a battle of will's. I usually end up asking him to do something small to end the saga on my terms but I make a bee line for the kettle immediately after!!
lisad- I am near herts so am really interested in this link- Thanks again
Some of the first activities we did wit dd2 were skittles, puzzles and then eventually (after lots of hard work) we got her playing some of the 'orchard games', basic taking in turn games. We used to use bubbles to get her attention as her mind would often wonder (as soon as she moved away i would blow bubbles and she would return and eventually engage in whatever we were trying to do with her).
A little game we used to get DS to attend to your face more was the "sight line treasure hunt". Basically you hide a choc button or crisp under a cup and mix up two cups then look at the one with the food under it (eyes only not head direction) and the child follows your sight line to uncover and win the treat. Start with the cups far away from each other (other side of the room) and get more subtle as he gets the hang of it.
Marne- Did your dd always return for the bubbles or did you need to move onto something else? My ds used to love them but is not so interested anymore. Will def try more orchard games -they are so good
Fauxfox- that games sounds good. Did you mix the cups in front of him and move the cups to other side of the room? Was he watching the whole thing? or did he know that a treat was under a cup and he needs to follow where you are looking?
Bubbles have always worked well for dd2 as well as food Also try games that offer a reward, Dd2 likes 'greedy gorillas' (orchard games) as the gorilla makes a noise (which she likes) when you feed it the cards.