Over 4 year ago my best friend gave my baby bump a doll she called Scruffy the Uffy. Scruffy became one of our Dexter’s favourite toys. When he was 3 months old, we learnt he had Congenital Glaucoma. This is when he had his very first surgery. At 18 months, Dexter started wearing glasses. He hated them so daddy made a pair for Scruffy which successfully encouraged him to wear them!
At 2, Dexter had his 14th surgery and lost all vision in his right eye. He was registered as severally visually impaired and shortly after this he started to use a long cane. So daddy made Scruffy a long cane.
Dexter met his first visually impaired friend who was also a cane user just before his 3rd birthday. Dexter then decided Scruffy needed a friend. So we bought Pink. Scramble followed Pink then Jeff then many more. Dexter’s Uffy collection now numbers 14.
Scruffy and Dexter have had many adventures together over the last couple of years. Not only has Scruffy been a crutch to help Dexter understand the world around him and how to use the tools he has been given to help him navigate his way in the world; Scruffy has also been a comfort that Dexter has chosen to take on trips and involve during memory making moments.
Once we were told Dexter would be a braille user, we started to look for books and games for him. We very quickly realised that the provisions for children were limited. We therefore decided to create our own books using Scruffy as the star.
Dexter is now 4 and we have just self-published our first 2 books. Scruffy and Pink learn numbers and Scruff and friends learn letters. We have many more ideas in the pipeline and hope to start publishing them soon. Dexter has been a key figure in making these books. All the Uffy names have been chosen by Dexter and many of the activities they do have been suggested by him.
More information about reading and braille can be found in our leisure section.