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Suicide by Screens

The impact of Tech Neglect on child and youth

By Cris Rowan.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Canadian children ages 10-19 years. The suicide rate for Canadian girls age 10-14 has doubled over the past 30 year period, as has the rate for teens age 15-19 years. While suicide rate for boys has decreased 25-50%, boys die by suicide 2-3 times more frequently than girls. A colleague who works in a pediatric hospital recently told me that her most frequent referral for inpatient admission is for attempted suicide, the youngest being 9 years of age. The reasons behind his unprecedented rise in suicide by Canadian youth are most likely complicated and multifactorial, but no one can dispute that there is a 'sadness' of epic proportion seeping insidiously across our great nation. In the near future, teen suicide will likely be termed 'epidemic', right alongside child obesity (1 in 4), mental illness (1 in 7), developmental delay (1 in 3), sleep deprivation (3 in 4), attention deficit (1 in 5), autism (1 in 49), and learning disability (2 in 4). Concurrent with declining mental and physical health of Canadian children, is a rise in use of entertainment-based technologies, with teens using an average of 9 hours per day. Tech addiction rates are now at 1 in 11 for the 8-18 age population. Sedentary, overstimulated, isolated and neglected, the ways in which we are raising and educating new millennium children with technology, are no longer sustainable. We have become a society of parents, educators, and health professionals who no longer appear interested in promoting child wellness. So attached are we to our own devices, a wave of Tech Neglect is sweeping across our nation, with children and youth struggling to survive. 

Screens and Autism

"WHO reports autism in males in 2013 was 1 in 68, rising to 1 in 49 by 2014. MIT research scientist projects autism rate of 1 in 2 in boys, and 1 in 5 in girls, by 2025" Click here to read. 

2015 Study reports exposure to screens at 6-18 mo. linked to escalating rates of pervasive developmental disorder and defiant behaviour. 
Click here to read.

Cris in the News

Huffington Post has recorded over 2.6 million Facebook likes for Cris Rowan's article 10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12.

By Donia Yassinson, Community Web Editor Gulf News 
Cris Rowan Huffington Post columnist sparked an online debate, with her 10 reasons for banning handheld devices for children under the age of 12. In the column, she argued that the way children are raised and educated in today's society is no longer sustainable, thus affecting their future. While she argued that the overuse of technology would affect children's future and be detrimental to their mental development, critics argued that not exposing children to technology in an advanced society like today, would in fact lead to developmental issues.

Donia Yassinson responds for UAE's Gulf News.

"Lee Binz has hit the nail smack on the head for clearly identifying the impact technology is having on our children, families, and schools, and what to do about it. TechnoLogic demystifies a very complex issue, helping readers to sort out problem areas and identify solutions. TechnoLogic is for everyone who cares about creating better lives for children." ~ Cris Rowan, Occupational Therapist and Author of Virtual Child 

New from Zone'in

Infancia Virtual: La aterradora verdad de lo que la tecnologia le esta haciendo a nuestros hijos.

Virtual Child by Cris Rowan now available in Spanish for the Kindle.

Coming Soon from Zone'in

Zone'in is currently working on a Spanish version of it's popular Tech Talks.

Tech Talks Español Versión

Research and News Review

Childhood Development

By Alice Park January 16, 2016
New research shows how cell phone distraction can deprive babies' developing brains of crucial developmental signals. 
By Victoria Dunckley February 26, 2016
An integrative psychiatry approach to tackling obesity in children.
Social Media & Mobile Technology

By Marissa Horn, USA Today, March 8, 2016
Everyone knows cell phones in cars can be deadly. And now, a new study suggests that mobile devices are killing more pedestrians, too.

By Common Sense Education
Get the facts on sexting with our handbook for teens and parents. Use this important resource to teach teens about the impact sexting can have on their futures.

ESPN Video released December 13, 2015
The lives of two athletes were changed in an instant as a result of texting and driving.
Technology Balance

By Tim Terrio
"Most kids today have no clue how much time they spend on technology" Tim Terrio Physical Therapy and Wellness Expert releases a new book to teach kids about the dangers of Technology Overload Attention Deficit. 

Boston Children's Hospital Trust
Join our team! Take a break from your phone or electronic device during the month of April and raise funds to support the Center on Media and Child Health.

By Director/Filmmaker - Delaney Ruston
SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction.

Video Games & Pornography
Published on Fight The New Drug March 11, 2016
The Utah House of Representatives made a ground breaking step forward for the anti-pornography movement last night at 10:50 pm as it unanimously voted to pass a nationally covered resolution to declare pornography a 'public health crisis' in the state.
ByCollective Evolution March 7, 2016
A simple illustrated explanation of how constant viewing of porn actually changes your brain.

By Tim Klucken, Sina Wehrum-Osinsky, Jan Schweckendiek, Onno Kruse, Rudolf Stark Jan 2016
Study showed that neural correlates of appetitive conditioning and neural connectivity are altered in patients with Compulsive Sexual Behavior.

Published June 12, 2015 on Fight The New Drug, originally posted in Australian Women's Weekly.
For many boys, porn is their sex education. They copy what they see, and expect their girlfriends to be like the women in the film.

Published February 29, 2016 Chicago Tribune
A 14-year-old boy pulled out a gun in a school cafeteria and opened fire, hitting two students, and then ran from the school, no motive for the shooting has been identified.

Technology Addictions & Psychotropic Meds
YouTube video Published on 11 Mar 2016
5 mothers describe the coercion, pressure and misinformation that led to the labeling and/or drugging of their children; how they sought help, how they found CCHR, and how CCHR helped them hold firm to their parental rights, and the fundamental right to protect their child from harm.

By Andrew Doan, MD, PhD
When a child has mental illness or addiction to video games, allowing the child's mind to fill with intrusive, violent images is the perfect storm for a non-empathetic killer.

By Melanie Hemp March 1, 2016
"I just have a feeling deep down that my son has a problem with his gaming." This is a very common comment I hear from parents as I speak to groups about  video game problems in their homes.

By Marcella Lee February 23, 2016.
More and more children are developing a serious addiction to video games. 
Studies have shown that roughly 10% of people who play video games are pathological players and addicts who are looking to escape from reality. For children and teens, who are still developing social and coping skills, excessive gaming can be quite damaging.

By Richard Freed February 19, 2016
How can we prevent youth video game addiction? Recognize that children, with their developing brains, are highly vulnerable to today's advanced gaming technologies which are designed to be difficult to put down.

YouTube Video published March 3, 2016
New Mexico State Legislator Nora Espinoza introduced the strongest parental rights bill against child drugging ever to be passed in the United States. The bill stipulates there can be no forced psychiatric drugging of school children; No mental screening of children without parental consent, and that no government entity can remove a child from their parent's custody, when the parent refuses to administer a mind-altering psychiatric drug to their child.

French illustrator Jean Jullien draws witty illustrations that point out our absurd addictions to technology, social media and our smartphones. The artist is famous for mocking our obsession, which cuts us off from the real life, leaving us alienated and lonely.
Tech Radiation

YouTube Video Published February 24, 2016
Video by Peter Sullivan discussing wireless in schools and the concerns about safety and undermining of learning at the deepest physiological levels.

YouTube Video Published February 22, 2016
A cell phone tower placed next to the school sports stand has antennae mounted on it and according to this video, most parents did not know it was coming.

YouTube Video Published February 18, 2016
A Silicon-valley engineer turned technology health advocate, Jeromy Johnson discusses our attachment to technology and the health hazards such an addiction may hold. 

For more video examples of parents and students going on the record with their school boards speaking out against wireless radiation in the classroom.

By Jack O'Dwyer February 26, 2016
Ronald M. Powell, Ph.D., retired U.S. Government scientist, urges libraries in a special paper to set an example of safe technology by converting to wired devices. 
A  pediatrician, two scientists and a father explore the environmental factors that may worsen illness in children with autism-and what can reduce the disorder's severity.

February 16, 2016
Dr. Joel Moskowitz, Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, discussed new research related to wireless technology, public health and the implications for policy. Click here to listen to the call. Click here to see the PowerPoint Slides and supporting information.
A great list of resources for being safe on the Internet for kids, teens, parents and educators.

By Hsin-Yi Tsai, Erik Peper, and I-Mei Lin NeuroRegulation, 3(1), 23-27.
The research showed that if you sit collapsed, it takes almost twice as long and the brain has to work much significantly harder to access positive memories than when you sit erect.

By J Molet, K Heins, X Zhuo, Y T Mei, L Regev, T Z Baram and H Stern Translational Psychiatry (2016) 6, e702; doi:10.1038/tp.2015.200 Published online 5 January 2016
Vulnerability to emotional disorders including depression derives from interactions between genes and environment, especially during sensitive developmental periods.

Cindi May June 3, 2014

Students who used longhand remembered more and had a deeper understanding of the material.

By Natasha Bita March 26, 2016
A top Australian school has banned laptops in class, warning that technology "distracts'' from old­-school quality teaching.

Looking for engaging, inclusive, innovative, and environmentally conscious solutions that will stand the test of time from Suttle Recreation, a company that truly cares about delighting customers and end users?

Conferences & Courses
The congress will provide a unique opportunity for researchers and practitioners across countries and disciplines to discuss latest findings on prevention, treatment, and risk factors of technology addiction. 

Brain Development and the Impact of Technology - Edmonton AB (or live webcast)  May 4, 2016
Alberta Early Years Learing Series 2015/16 with Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz, Associate Professor, School and Applied Child Psychology (SACP), University of Calgary

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. 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.
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. 

Care to Donate?
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!
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