Kipper the Dog
In one episode Kipper has a series of adventures with an umbrella. This made quite an impression on Little N.
flying up high like Kipper
boating down the river like Kipper
This is so exciting to see! Kids with Autism are generally very concrete and literal. Imagination and pretend play don't flow so readily for them as compared to what we expect of typically developing children. So while Little N's play with the umbrella is a direct line back to what he watched on Kipper, I think it still counts as pretend. He took his own umbrella and his own environment and made it an experience of the blustery wind and gentle river that he'd seen on Kipper. And his delight! He was flying! He was boating! He was like Kipper! And he loved every minute of it.
watch Kipper on youtube: http://youtu.be/W1wORYjzMEs