Today the Early Intervention ladies came by to analyze my little guy. When they rang the doorbell he was there to greet them holding a mini Bears football and his sister's baby doll who he occasionally babysits :) I brought them in to the kitchen and as usual he was chatting up a storm. They were quickly able to cross verbal delays off their list of possible problems. One woman was a speech therapist, the other a developmental therapist. We started with the speech therapist. She gave him some tests to see if he had any muscular problems in his mouth, having him move his tongue from side to side, up and down, blow bubbles, etc. He passed all no problems. Then he happened to get hungry so I gave him his usual bananas and they could see that he could spoonfeed himself well.
The therapist then asked me for some Cheerios so she could get him to play with his food. She had him smash them, stack them, play with them in some of the banana puree. He went along with everything aside from putting one in his mouth.
Then it was time for the developmental therapist. She asked a bunch of questions and then asked him to do a bunch of things that most 2 1/2 year olds can do - identify colors, shapes, do simple puzzles, make a tower of blocks, follow instructions to color, etc. The funniest was after asking him to hop in each direction (forward, backward, left and right) she asked him to show her how he walks up the stairs. He paused for a minute and looked at her. Then he said, "Well, I take a step like this" and put one foot in front of the other, "and then I do this" and moved the other foot next to it. We all got a laugh out of that, and then I told him, "why don't you take her to the stairs and show her?" He said, "Oh, ok, come here" and ran off to the stairs, where he then walked up and down :)
Bottom line, they want us to encourage him to play with his food, make a point of brushing his whole mouth (tongue, sides of cheeks, etc) to get him used to those sensations and at any meal where he sits down with us, put some small pieces of what we're eating on his tray. They're going to file the paper work with insurance and the state and assign a feeding specialist. They even told me that there is a group of 4 or 5 kids that meets once a week around lunch time to get attention from one of these feeding specialists and see/encourage each other to eat. They also recommended getting off the sippy and on to real or straw cups. All good ideas, so we'll give it a try. The state covers some of the cost of this until age 3, so hopefully we get it all solved by then.