Well, I finally realized why I'd been feeling so negative lately. Our appointments with the dev. ped. were coming up, and I know deep down that we wouldn't hear "mild autism" or "sensory integration problems", which is what Early Intervention said originally.
So we went in to TX Children's Hospital, yesterday and today. B. and G. dealt with it amazingly well. G. was especially excited by all the fish tanks, and Brendan was just happy to run around the waiting room with a big grin on his face. Everyone kept commenting on how calm and happy they were (they were there on different mornings, but we got the same comments). Mom and Dad weren't so calm, but we did okay, considering. We always seem to get along best in real high stakes situations.
The doctor saw G. first. She (the dr.) has a very nice manner, relaxed and encouraging. Even though G. and B. basically couldn't do much of what she presented them with, she still said lots of positive things about them. In the end, though, she said that she believes they both have autism, and fall in the category of mental retardation. They each have their areas of strength, of course, but overall her assessments of them were similar.
She did say that they have lots of potential, and she's impressed with how much expressive language they have already learned. When she was observing G., he kept making his little toy man kiss his toy duck, which I thought was pretty impressive (not to mention very cute).
Her diagnoses weren't a surprise for me, but I still feel like I'm grieving in a way. It's one thing for me to believe they are delayed and autistic, it's another to have a specialist tell me they definitely are. On the other hand, we now have letters of medical necessity, which we hope will force the insurance company to pay for private therapy.
They had to get blood drawn, to check for genetic anomolies. G. was relatively okay with it, except for the actual stick. B. was so mad about being held still that he didn't even react when the needle went in. It took him a long time to settle down. They both fell right to sleep on the ride home.
We are supposed to schedule MRI's, and also speech and OT evaluations. For the MRI's we have to go back to TX Children's, but I'm happy to say we can do the other evaluations and therapy practically in our own neighborhood.
I feel like this post sounds kind of detached and cold, but I'm a bit burned out after the last two days. Telling my parents was the worst part, although by the end of the phone call we were all just talking about what wonderful happy boys they are, and my mom had basically convinced herself the diagnosis is wrong. I don't blame her. It doesn't matter that much what the label is if they are happy.
Thank you to everyone who's posted such encouraging and helpful comments.