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Death of the DSM - What does this mean for child mental illness diagnosis?

By Cris Rowan, Pediatric Occupational Therapist

DSMI had the opportunity to meet with a wise and sage pediatric neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman at a conference in New York who enlightened me on the historical origins of mental illness. Dr. Baughman revealed that up to the mid-1940's, neurologists treated both physical and mental illness. Due to the absence of any biochemical, anatomical or genetic evidence for mental illness at that time, neurologists split off from treating mental illness, and psychiatry was born. Fast forward to today, nothing has really changed........

Research & News Review

Toddlers becoming so addicted to iPads they require therapy

May 12, 2013 for Telegraph

Experts have warned that parents who allow babies and toddlers to access tablet computers for several hours a day are in danger of causing "dangerous" long term effects. Children as young as four are becoming so addicted to smartphones and iPads that they require psychological treatment.


Children with Autism more prone to video game addiction

By Ashik Siddique on April 17, 2013 for Medical Daily 

Children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) spend longer on screen-based media like television and video games than their neurotypical siblings, according to a recent study, and are more likely to develop video game addiction.


Children and teens with autism more likely to become preoccupied with video games

April 17, 2013 for Science Daily
Children and teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use screen-based media, such as television and video games, more often than their typically developing peers and are more likely to develop problematic video game habits, a University of Missouri researcher found.


Virtual Gaming Addiction - Presentation by Dr. Andrew Doan to Regional Family, Youth and Health Task Force in Temucula, California on April 29, 2013 (start video on 20:00 min.)

Neuroscientist, Ophthalmologist and Author of Hooked on Games, Dr. Doan provides startling research on the impact of violent media content on child and youth aggression.


Gray matter and white matter abnormalities in online game addiction.

By CB Weng et al for the European Journal of Radiology on Mar 4, 2013. pii: S0720-048X(13)00073-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.01.031
Compared with healthy subjects, Online Gaming Addicts (OGA) individuals showed significant gray matter atrophy in the right orbitofrontal cortex, bilateral insula, and right supplementary motor area. According to tract-based spatial statistics analysis, OGA subjects had significantly reduced FA in the right genu of corpus callosum, bilateral frontal lobe white matter, and right external capsule.


New Jersey ignores Supreme Court in pushing for violent game legislation

By Kyle Orland for ARS Technicia on April 24, 2013

New Jersey governor Chris Christie put his political weight behind restrictions on selling video games to minors.


The effect of family therapy on the changes in the severity of on-line game play and brain activity in adolescents with on-line game addiction.

By DH Han et al for Psychiatry Research on 2012 May 31;202(2):126-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2012.02.011.

With evidence of brain activation changes in response to on-line game playing cues and images depicting parental love, the present findings suggest that family cohesion may be an important factor in the treatment of problematic on-line game playing.


'I killed my mom with my .22. I don't know why I did it': Chilling 911 call reveals 13-year-old boy admitting he tried to rape and then shot dead his mom 'for taking away his Call of Duty video game'

May 12, 2013 for Mail Online

Noah Crooks, 14, is accused of shooting dead his mother, Gretchen Crooks, last March. His father testified that Gretchen Crooks was the one who bought their son the .22 caliber Ruger used in the slaying.


Pornography rewires boys' brains, research says

By Julie Baumgardner for Times Free Press on April 28, 2013

Dr. Phil Zimbardo, a psychology professor at Stanford University, discussed the demise of guys, stating that boys are flaming out academically and wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women. Of all the activities on the Internet, porn has the most potential to be addictive. Everything in the porn user's life is boring except porn. As a result of watching porn, boys' brains are being digitally rewired into a never-ending desire for change, constant arousal, novelty and excitement. This creates real issues when it comes to romantic relationships that grow gradually and subtly.


Diagnosing the Wrong Deficit

By Vatsal Thakkar for New York Times on April 28, 2013.

For some people - especially children - sleep deprivation does not necessarily cause lethargy; instead they become hyperactive and unfocused. Researchers and reporters are increasingly seeing connections between dysfunctional sleep and what looks like A.D.H.D., but those links are taking a long time to be understood by parents and doctors.


Forget your gadgets at 'digital detox' camp

By Vignesh Ramachandran for Mashable on May 7, 2013

This four-day summer camp for adults in a 1970s-style Boy Scouts camp atmosphere brings together 232 campers who must follow some special rules: no technology use, no cell phones allowed and no talking about work. "We really hope people reconnect with themselves," said Ben Hanna, a partner at The Digital Detox,


NIMH Withdraws Support for DSM-5 - Latest development a humiliating blow to the APA

By Christopher Lane, Ph.D. in Psychology Today on May 4, 2013

Just two weeks before DSM-5 is due to appear, the National Institute of Mental Health, the world's largest funding agency for research into mental health, has indicated that it is withdrawing support for the manual. In a humiliating blow to the American Psychiatric Association, Thomas R. Insel, M.D., Director of the NIMH, made clear the agency would no longer fund research projects that rely exclusively on DSM criteria.


National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) will be re-orienting research away from the DSM categories toward a new system called the Research Domain Criteria

By Thomas Insel on April 29, 2013 for NIMH

Insel states the weakness (of the DSMV) is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. NIMH has launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project to transform diagnosis by incorporating genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and other levels of information to lay the foundation for a new classification system.

Video Clips


15 April 2013 for BBC's News Magazine
As interactive technology becomes ubiquitous around the globe, some experts warn that formal handwriting may soon diminish, rendering the penmanship a relic of the past. Fears of handwriting's demise prompted North Carolina Congresswoman Pat Hurley to draft a bill, mandating that script be taught in all elementary schools in the state. It passed unanimously in the state House earlier this month.


Series of interviews regarding video game addicion.
Websites & Blogs


Website - Tech Addiction

Great website, excellent resources on tech addiction.


Comic - How you spend your time
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Publication by the Toronto District School Board. 
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.

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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. Cris has provided over 200 workshops for health and education professionals, and is currently developing the Creating Sustainable Futures Program for a First Nations Community.
"Zone'in Programs Inc. for sale!
Please contact Cris Rowan at for more information".
Foundation Series Workshops

Workshops are offered in the following formats:

Buy individual recorded webinars for $99 each

or the first 6 in the series for $499!


You will have two weeks to download your file.  Once saved, you may watch at your leisure, alone or with your friends/colleagues.  Stop and start the recording to suit your schedule - watch as many times as you like! 

Foundation Series Workshops on DVDs 

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.

Click here to learn more or sign up.
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. 

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Zone'in Programs Inc. 2013
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