Play in Hispanic and Latino families : implications for early childhood intervention
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Play is the universal means by which children explore and learn fundamental skills including language and culturally appropriate social norms during the earliest years of their lives. As the Hispanic and Latino populations of the United States continue to increase, it is important for speech-language pathologists to understand how culture influences play and parent-child interactions so that they can deliver high-quality services through early childhood intervention. Because clinicians partner so closely with parents and families, multicultural competency will facilitate rapport and improve intervention outcomes. Early childhood intervention approaches for the birth to three population were developed based on cultural norms and research of white, middle-class families in the United States; these outcomes may not generalize to families from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. The purpose of this report is to describe the typical play behaviors in Hispanic and Latino families and to suggest strategies for speech-language pathologists working with the birth to three population to collaborate with families to modify intervention approaches and provide culturally appropriate intervention.