When I get Joy out of the crib in the morning, we have a little routine. I open the crib-tent zipper, open the blinds, greet her with a cheery good-morning. Then depending on how asleep or awake she is, I may pat her, help her untangle from the blankets, eventually help her to her feet.
Then we have a little hug, and I say the word "hug."
Then I repeat the word "up" several times, and give her a chance to request it (something she used to never miss, but it went away one day a couple months ago and hasn't come back yet).
Then I count "Ready, set..." and give her the chance to say either "up" or "go," another prompt she never used to miss.
Then I fill in the "go" for her, and lift her out of the crib with a kiss, and her pyjama-ed little feet go padding out toward the living room and/or breakfast table.
She does not look directly at me during this entire routine.
At least for this eye-contact avoidance thing, I have a frame of reference: John Elder Robison's book Look Me In The Eye, in which he describes how difficult (and perhaps over-rated?) eye-contact can be.
I don't have as good a framework for Joy's other frequent visual avoidance situation, where she declines to look at whatever task she's doing with her hands. I supposed I should say "whatever task she's being asked to do with her hands," because it's most noticeable when it's something an adult wants her to do: link pop-beads, put in a puzzle piece, buckle herself into her booster chair.
The booster chair is a fascinating example. She's very good at climbing into the chair herself, and retrieving the three straps that have to buckle together, and fitting the buckle together and pushing each side in with a pop! but with her fingers out of the way so as not to get pinched. Except she generally does it without looking, other than perhaps peripherally. When she accidentally gets one side of the buckle turned backward, it's well-nigh impossible for her to correct without seeing what's gone wrong.
How to help Joy look at what she's doing, enough to see it, learn it, achieve it?
Physically giving her head a gentle re-direct seems rather ham-handed and invasive, but it does at least get her to see that the buckle is turned backward or whatever, and correct it herself. Calling to her with voice-prompt, making a noise by tapping the item, waving the item in front of her face... none of them very effective.
Maybe she just wishes she were in Dixie -- Look away, look away!