The Birth of "Preemie the Explorer"
A Parents Guide

I wrote Preemie the Explorer after a discussion with Dr. Carly Molloy, a neuropsychologist who specializes in issues related to preterm birth. Carly has developed and maintains a wonderful website, www.preemiehelp.com, which provides free expert information on all things preemie related, as well as facilitating a supportive community environment for those affected by the challenges associated with preterm birth.

Carly explained that certain developmental issues associated with preterm birth can continue well after the child leaves the hospital. While the struggle for life might be won or lost in those first critical weeks or months, other problems associated with growth, cognitive function, learning, memory, vision etc can continue to challenge the child and his/her family well into their school years. These challenges can also manifest at a social level as children reach self awareness, and differences are noted by self and others. This can lead to insecurity, bullying, shyness, low self esteem, and other forms of impaired social development.

Therefore, the child faces a double challenge: to overcome the specific impairments caused by preterm birth, and to negotiate the social implications which may follow. This can often be a difficult emotional process.

Preemie the Explorer is the first installment in a trilogy. Due to a terrible storm, Preemie takes off before his outer shell and turbo thrusters are able to be attached. This is an intergalactic preterm birth! When Preemie comes across a gang of spacecraft who tease him about his small stature, it takes a series of lessons from the moles and kangaroos at planet NICU before he develops the courage and wisdom necessary to restore a healthy self esteem. The story is full of colorful characters, exciting action, and humor.

Preemie was written to help children learn vicariously that being different is not a bad thing. The take-home message is that everyone has strengths on which they can concentrate their efforts. Preemie is a cheeky, lovable kid with whom we empathize and root for and, in doing so, root for ourselves overcoming our own challenges.

Preemie the rocket

Book two, Preemie’s return to Mama, (coming soon) will further the adventures of Preemie and his friends while incorporating Preemie’s learning and memory difficulties. There was never a more fun or exciting way to overcome such problems than with strategies learnt while flying through the universe!