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My 22-month-old grandson, who's always drooled a lot and is slow making certain sounds and way behind in speaking intelligibly, has been diagnosed with "oral muscle weakness" and is now getting speech therapy.

Does anyone know anything about this condition or have any experience with speech therapy and late talking? That is, he babbles a lot but not much is understandable. He "reads" books by looking at each page and making sounds in the rhythm of speech, but hardly any words--or that;s the way it was when I saw him last in September (and with great effort bit my tongue from suggesting she make an apptmt with a speech therapist).

If I understood correctly, his speech therapist comes to the apartment at 8am twice a week, so maybe I can learn more about what gives on that score.

He used to be a great eater and now isn't. I'm visiting for a week, starting tomorrow, and wondering if there's anything I can do to help. I'll be fixing dinner all week--any suggestions on what might entice a reluctant toddler? (I won't be involved in breakfast as they have a routine, or lunch as Rowan does a nannyshare with a little girl with life-threatening food allergies.) DD says he doesn't love my old standbys as he used to. His favorite foods now seem to be oatmeal, cut up grapes, rice, and pot stickers with the dough pulled off (i.e., salty meat). Not even yogurt or melted cheese on toast so much any more. He used to eat vegetables, but not now. Since he sort of likes peas (he's as apt to throw them as eat them-), I was thinking split pea soup with ham, which my daughter liked a lot since childhood (I put a lot of carrots into it, making it delicious and healthier, if gross color-). I'd have to make it very thick as he no longer cares to be fed, but can't manage a spoon well enough for soup. Since he loves rice, I thought maybe Spanish rice or fried rice--do any of you fix a rice-veggie-meat combo that your toddlers liked? What about chili at this age--not too spicy, of course, but he likes ground beef and beans-?

Yeah, I know I'm not the Mommy. I'm not even his nanny any more. But Mommy, who was at home in NYC all last week with a sick toddler, is sick this week herself (sinus/respiratory), behind at work and school, pregnant (hence cannot take anything to relieve her congestion--and BTW, yay! a baby! due in May), her husband's going out of town, and DD & DGS would be subsisting on takeout were I not visiting. I'll be grocery shopping, too. And she won't say what she wants (cranky and doesn't want to think about it).

He's turning 2 in December, followed less than a week later by Christmas. Any gift suggestions?
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