Heather, as you and I have talked about before, I have the same issues with Jackson. The only real word he says is still Mama. He tries to say other things but it really all sounds the same. He is not much older than Eyson, and has been in therapy for about 7 months. I'm surprised they said Eyson was not delayed, because at our recent cleft clinic visit, the speech pathologist was very concerned about Jackson and even recommended increasing his speech therapy to twice a week. (He has it 3 times a month right now) Early Intervention is saying that they don't have the resources to provide it that often, so now we are looking into a few outpatient places, but I am concerned about what insurance will cover and how Jackson will respond to two different therapists. He is very shy around strangers.
Anyway, Jackson does know lots of sign language and that does seem to help with figuring out what he wants. Our speech therapist mainly works on getting him to imitate mouth movements, even simple stuff like sticking out his tongue. And then trying to get him to imitate simple sounds. It's nothing really that you can't do on your own. But if you are concerned, I would definitely appeal their decision. Good luck!