I can't stop thanking you for all the insights you share!! May I send you a virtual hug?
I will definitely pass on to the occupational therapist the idea of just asking one child to join them and then, over some time, gradually expand towards a small group.
About your questions:
Her eye contact is increasing almost by the day right now concerning adults - not so much with peers.
I'm not sure how well she communicates with peers in Kindergarten. At home, usually her sister takes lead and Irina will go with her for quite a while. But when she wants something different and it comes to negotiating she's pretty lost. Sometimes she wants to play with younger children and some of those times it might work but often it doesn't.
When she decides to play on her own she won't allow changes. If then another child interferes she will just walk away.
Her interactiv atenttion span depends largely on the attitude of the facilitating person. If she feels pushed in any way at all she will tune out within minutes.
If she feels accepted and respected she can go on for over an hour.
Does she stim? - That one's tricky. At first, we all thought she wouldn't. But the more I learn to observe her the clearer I notice two patterns of behaviors when she seems uncomfortable. With people she doesn't know or doesn't like she will just stare at them with a frozen smile on her face and hardly respond to anything or do anything. With poeple who she is familiar with, she will try to engage us into some kind of repetitious game e.g. sing the same song over again, read books to her on and on or she asks a series of 3 to 4 questions over and over again.
It has only been over the last few days that I noticed her quite a few times lining up figurines while I was talking to someone else. Today she only had 6 of them but they kept falling over and so Irina was busy lining them up for almost half an hour. I'm not quite sure what to think of that. Is it a step foreward? - She's learning to take care of herself by herself? Or is it more of a step into beeing more exclusive? I haven't figured it out yet. Overall she seems a lot more at ease these days and really enjoys the hours in the playroom.
With thankful thoughts,