My 10 year old son has been in special ed for several years now, in a mainstream class with a parapro. His official diagnosis is sensory integration disorder, but he has been in occupational, physical, and speech therapies to assist him with mild developmental delays. He's actually doing quite well in school now with the help he's been given.
But it has come to my attention that my parenting skills could use some work. One of his behaviors is that he will get very focused on one topic. He will go on and on in detail for hours about just one thing. I have a very hard time redirecting his conversation, and sometimes even just getting a word in edgewise when he's off on one of his monologues. I become bored and frustrated, and don't want to interact with him.
It has become so much easier for me to just plop him in front of a computer game to keep him occupied, because this hold his attention. But one of his therapists mentioned that I'm using the computer as a "pacifier" instead of really spending quality one-on-one time with him. Unfortunately, it's true. :(
So what are ways that you engage kids in play and conversation when they are very hard to communicate with and redirect?