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Tech Neglect - Preoccupation with technology results in injury and brain damage to children

By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist



A recent study by Dr. Bruce Perry with Child Trauma Academy in Texas revealed that children who are neglected by their parents have significantly smaller brains, with long term effects of increased violence, addictions, and unemployment. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports child injury rates are up 12%, and cite parent preoccupation with technology as a causal factor. While parental neglect is nothing new to society, overuse of technology is. As technology draws parents away from the needs of their children, these neglected children are more prone to injuries and even fatalaties. In the absence of a primary attachment figure, neglected children form unhealthy attachments to devices. Socially acceptable and alluring, parent overuse of technology is resulting in escalating and widespread neglect, causing injury and irreversible brain damage in children. This article will profile initiatives for health professionals regarding identification and treatment of Tech Neglect.  



As part of the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Approved Provider 4-year renewal process, AOTA is requesting that Zone'in Foundation Series Workshops participants complete a short online survey about theri continuing education experience. Completing this survey will also enter you into a quarterly drawing for a $100 voucher for AOTA publications or CE. To access the survey go to


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Upcoming Foundation Series Workshops


One in three children enter school developmentally vulnerable, one in four are obese, and one in six have a diagnosed mental illness. For parents, health and education professionals, the Foundation Series Workshops provide research referenced information, tools and techniques to enhance child development and learning. Give your child and school the edge they need to grow and succeed!


Nov. 21 and Dec. 11, 2012 free webinar - Scholar's Choice is sponsoring a two part webinar featuring Cris Rowan "When tech is too much for your child" from 5-6:00 PM PST.

Register here.


Phoenix - January 21, 22, 23, 2013

Vancouver - February 18, 19, 20, 2013

Winnipeg - March 18, 19, 20, 2013

San Francisco - April 15, 16, 17, 2013



Zone'in Products

Sedentary, neglected, isolated, and overstimulated, the new millennium child can no longer pay attention and learn. Zone'in Products are designed by an occupational therapist to enhance child development and learning, ensuring successful futures.


Zone'in - enhancing attention, learning and self-regulation.

Move'in - teaches children to print, the foundation for literacy.

Unplug'in - builds skill and confidence in activities other than technology.

Live'in - media literacy guide for home, school and community.


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Virtual Child - The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children

Virtual Child

By Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist.

Virtual Child documents the impact technology has had on the developing child, and proposes tools and techniques to manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. 

Need more info? Visit


About the Author
Cris Rowan is a pediatric occupational therapist committed to enhancing child health and academic performance. Well known activist, speaker, sensory specialist and author, Cris is the "Go To" expert on child learning, development and technology overuse.


Training & Consultation 

Instructor training for Foundation Series Workshops places pediatric occupational therapists on the cutting edge as experts in the field of technology's impact on child development.

Zone'in Training

Innovative team-based approach to manage balance between activities children need to grow and succeed with technology use.

Cris Rowan is now offering private phone/Skype consultations. 


By Christine Hsu for Medical Daily on Oct. 29, 2012 


A shocking comparison of brain scans from two three-year-old children reveals new evidence of the remarkable impact a mother's love has on a child's brain development.  


Interconnected But Underprotected? Parents' Methods and Motivations for Information Seeking on Digital Safety Issues

By Vauna Davis for Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0179.


Children have access to a mean of five connected devices at home; a higher number of devices was correlated with increased risks experienced by children, but was not associated with increased concern or information seeking from parents.


The Perils of Texting While Parenting

By Ben Worthen for The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 29, 2012 


Too many parents are distracted by mobile devices when they should be watching their kids, causing a recent rise in injuries of 12% between 2007 and 2010, after falling for much of the prior decade, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Technology is changing how students learn, teachers say

By Matt Richtel for The New York Times on Nov. 1, 2012

In a recent survey, 90 percent of teachers say that digital technologies were creating "an easily distracted generation with short attention spans." Reality is apparently no longer interesting. 


'Plugged-In' Teens Vulnerable in Traffic: Study

By Kathleen Doheny for HealthDay Reporter on Oct. 19, 2012

Compared to adults, teenagers - in particular ages 13 to 17 - were more likely to be using an electronic device when they were injured, said Dr. Nina Glass, a surgical resident at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. 


Do You Suffer From 'IUD?'

For KTLA News on Oct. 3, 2012 

Australian mental health professionals lobby for inclusion of 'Internet Use Disorder' as a recognized addiction, warranting treatment. 

Sex-ed from porn and posing half-naked 'to feel sexy like Megan Fox': How the digital age is influencing girls as young as 12 

For The Daily Mail on Oct. 18, 2012

Girls as young as 12 who are posting images of themselves online wearing lingerie, because they want to 'feel sexy - like Megan Fox,' have become the subject of an award-winning new documentary.


Attention disorder or not, pills to help in school

By Alan Schwartz for The New York Times on Oct. 4, 2012

"We've decided as a society that it's too expensive to modify the kid's environment. So we have to modify the kid" says Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician in Atlanta.


Online Attitudes Predict Individuals' Compulsive and Excessive Internet Use and Poor Well-Being 

For Science Daily on Oct. 9, 2012

Researchers are exploring how specific online communication attitudes -- such as individuals' tendency for online self-disclosure, online social connection, and online anxiety -- predicted their compulsive and excessive Internet use and, in turn, low sense of well-being.


The Extremely Personal Computer: The Digital Future of Mental Health

By Gabriella Rosen Kellerman for The Atlantic Mobile on Oct 3, 2012

Meet Regina, your new therapist. 


The mere presence of a mobile phone harms face-to-face conversations

For Research Digest on Sept. 24, 2012

Mobile phones might trigger in the mind automatic thoughts about wider social networks, which has the effect of crowding out face-to-face conversations. Considered in this way, the present findings are an extension of the wider literature on what's known as non-conscious priming.



Film Clips


Our Story in 2 Minutes

Brilliant history of the world by a high school art student.

By Brian Williams for MSN Rock Center on November 8, 2012

Brian interviews people struggling with internet addictions and profiles REStart Addiction Center in Seattle Washington.

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Zone'in Programs Inc. and Cris Rowan are seeking your support and assistance to ensure sustainable and productive futures for our children. Find out more about how you can help us!

Zone'in Programs Inc. 2012
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