Co-regulation is a beginning precursor to being able to dynamically adapt to situations and your environment. Without this ability we can not fully engage with others or our world.
I remember trying to roll a ball back and forth with Jake to no avail. My Mom is trying to roll a car back and forth with Jake in the video below. The quality of the video is awful but it captures a moment in time of Jake not being able to co-regulate. Due to the autism this opportunity alluded him and me. Notice how he is not “engaging” with her. He is self absorbed in his own repetitive movement of the car. Also notice my reaction to the scene. I start singing to show my Mom, yes he is competent. As if to say, "Look he can fill in words to a song. " That is a static skill, I would later find out. And my way "to get something" out of little Jake.
I believe Jake was able but due to the autism he was not ready. When I learned how to guide him he became willing. I had to learn how to teach Jake how to play these simple back and forth games. Sure they are simple if you have a partner that is ready, willing and able. RDI taught me how to set up the engagement so Jake would be truly competent and able to have a real back and forth interaction with me.
Ready, willing and able. He became all of those things and more. It starts from rolling a ball back and forth or building with blocks side by side and becomes the way we engage with others and the world.