This looks like typical play, but let me break it down.
1. I follow him to see what he likes to do, which is to hide in cabinets.
2. Use what he likes as a motivator to learn a new skill. When he hides, he learns to open the door when called, after first learning the cause and effect of this particular skill with a reward.
3. I have learned that he responds by me using an enthusiastic sound of voice. This is also an important skill for speech since he will likely be imitating sounds before talking. (Which he is starting to do!!)
4. Once he enjoys this new skill, he can learn further skills and “work” for the learned skill. That way we are more likely to keep the current skill while moving on. He now “works for” cabinet time once he finishes a task that he doesn’t enjoy as much.
See? This is how my child with autism has been learning. This is SO important at this age of diagnosis since he is capable of learning so quickly. He is so much fun!