Reframing Play and Behavior:

Coaching Parents from a Multicultural Perspective

Handouts: CLICK HERE

Amanda Binns, SLP-CCC & Eunice Lee, MSW, RSW, MS ED., MEHRI, York University, Ontario, Canada


Part of our role as DIR Floortime clinicians and providers is to understand each child’s individual differences and how these differences impact their capacity to regulate, engage and be reciprocal. How many of us find ourselves having to do that for their parents and caregivers as well?  As part of a comprehensive DIR program, clinicians are being challenged with the task of understanding each parent’s individual differences including their expectations of what play should look like, how development should progress, and what their role is in their child’s learning.  When working in a diverse and multicultural city like Toronto Canada, clinicians also have to consider cultural factors in order to be respectful and effective at supporting parents to address the functional emotional developmental capacities through play.  Culture and background often dictate how parents and caregivers read and understand a child’s behaviour.  A child whose play consists of constantly moving around and has difficulty sitting still could be interpreted as being naughty, curious, active, or oppositional.  How do we, as clinicians, help parents to reframe their understanding of their child’s actions or behaviours while considering their cultural background?  In this presentation, Amanda Binns M.A. SLP-CCC, Reg. CASLPO and Eunice Lee MSW, RSW, MS Ed will highlight the process that their multidisciplinary team uses to support families from diverse backgrounds to better understand their child’s actions, intentions and behaviours, in order to support expansion of play and development.  

Learning Objectives: By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to

  • Observe and gather information for a parent’s individual profile
  • Explain how culture influences the role of a parent’s individual differences on parent-child interactions ( the verb "understand" is usually discouraged as it is difficult to measure)
  • Describe how to support parents to re-frame their thinking about their child’s behaviors, actions and intentions