Episode 38: Detecting Developmental Delays

Episode 38 is dedicated to you – Curt Schilling, of the World Series winning Diamondbacks, with your bloody sock and all.

This week’s episode features an interview with Christie Priem, an incredible Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). She is also the founder, owner, and genius mind, and loving heart behind Chirp : an online resource to make churches welcoming for those with special needs.

Christie has used this verse to guide her in the heart of her ministry: “What is the price of five sparrows – two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7 NLT) . She is caring for the fragile, and often over-looked community of special needs kids, because they are of great worth to Jesus!

In this interview:

Our interview with Christie, she shares 5 Developmental Keys (plus a bonus one!) to help parents, and anyone who works with children, to recognize developmental delays, as well as so many other tools to help children to develop well. Because the interview was so rich with content, we broke it up into 2 parts. So today is part one! And it ends kind of abruptly, because there is no outro/closing statement. But come back next week for the final 2 keys plus the bonus.

Developmental Key #1 is Self Regulation.


Developmental Key #2 is Engagement.

If a child does not engage with the world, this is the clearest sign that something is amiss. As parents and teachers and leaders of children, we need to invite children in to the world and help them to find things that are engaging. Children need to play to help them learn, and exercise all the skills that they are learning.

Resources for

Developmental Key #3 is Enjoyable and Flexible Play.

Christie gave an example of a child playing with a toy for 8 hours straight, and upon observation, the child was manipulating the toys and furniture in precise and exact 90 degree angles. This is not flexible play. Because when Christie tried to join in, things went badly. Children need to be like a tree that is able to not break when the wind blows. Learning to play in a way that is enjoyable and flexible helps them to develop into said strong tree that does not break. Children also need to play to help them learn, and exercise all the skills that they are learning.

resources for play: Hanen Play and Lurie Children’s Play

The (Good) Word of the Day

He cared for them with a true heart
    and led them with skillful hands.

Psalm 78:72
We love this verse that Christie shared with us. David led his army with a true heart AND skillful hands, and as parents and leaders, we need to do the same. Sometimes we will make mistakes, but if our hearts are truly in the right place, AND we are trying our best to continually learn, and to have skillful hands, our children will benefit greatly from that.

This week is Thanksgiving week and we are so thankful for all of you listeners! We hope you had a delicious and restful week.

To find our more about Christie:

Special Needs Channel on YouTube


If you Want to Connect on Social Media:

You can find me at:

Jihae Watson on Facebook

Fostering Voices on Instagram

Jihae Watson on Instagram

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