What is a Binga?

So a blog is a deeply personal thing; a place to pour your heart out and invite others to share in your experiences. You can cry, and laugh, and cheer - you can get mad or find a cause to believe in. But what happens when the blog you want to write is about a child? How do you weigh her privacy against sharing some of her stories so that people might empathize with her?

I've been struggling with these questions and plan to tread carefully and with her permission while bringing you to know her, so please meet Tobi; Our Little Binga. What is a Binga? We have no idea but we've been calling our youngest daughter a binga since the day she was born and this blog is for her!

Please follow us on our quest for a Service Dog for Tobi.

Monday, November 5, 2012

In One Month...

Zombie Tobi wants your brraiins!
In one month's time, around December 2nd, Tobi's future Service Dog (she named him Mojo-Jo-Jo) will be born! Mojo's breeder and trainer (Angel of OnQ Siberians) will keep a close eye on the pups in the first weeks and decide who among them she feels would be the best match for Tobi, and then from those pups, Tobi will make her choice!! (Click here: If you're interested in seeing what the parents look like!)

We're still working on the training fee and I will give a quick update now of the last couple of months and how they have been for Tobi. I owe you!

Halloween was tons of fun for our little binga - she got to go trick-or-treating with her big sister Raina and Raina's friends, all of whom dressed up like monsters!

It hasn't all been fun since summer, though. We had to make a very important decision for Tobi and while we feel we did the right thing, we have experienced some less than enthusiastic support.

Due to Tobi's extreme difficulties with school, we chose to pull her out and begin Homeschooling her. It wasn't an easy decision and was one we'd contemplated for the last couple of years but were always talked out of for one reason or another. This last school year had been the worst yet and the closer to 5th grade we got, the scarier it was getting. For her and us. So we spent the summer weighing our options and we discussed it at length with her counselor who supports our decision as the one right for Tobi at this time.

So far, homeschooling has been excellent. It took some adjustment and getting used to on my part as well as Tobi's but here we are at the beginning of November and her nightmares have decreased, her sleep has improved so much that I almost never have to give her the melatonin now, her body tics are less frequent, she's happier, and her amount of meltdowns has greatly reduced. I love it because I can tailor her lessons around her abilities and her likes, I can go at a pace comfortable to her and she can ask as many questions as she likes, as often as she needs.

For example, Like letting her listen to bagpipe music (we love the Rogues!) while she draws and colors a map of Scotland and I make a memory review game. Included in our learning about Scotland, we talked about the Loch Ness Monster (of course!), which led to Cryptozoology, which led to a field trip to the Cryptozoology museum in Portland. =D

Another thing that has been very positive about all of this, is that if she's having a bad day, I can simply postpone the lesson without her needing to have anxiety attacks about it. She can have lessons on the weekend or during teacher workshop days but may have a weekday off. It's been a great experience so far.

I won't say that it's been perfect, obviously. We have our ups and downs, but for now, for this year at least, we made the best decision for she and us.

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