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It was about 20 years ago when I started identifying children who overused screens. I was working in schools as a pediatric occupational therapist at the inception of the adhd craze, and was curious enough to ask my adhd students "do you game"? It made sense to me that a body designed to move should not be sedentary, and a brain undergoing rapid development, should not merely be entertained. Overloading young visual and auditory systems with fast paced bright lights and loud noise caused further concern. As autism rates climbed (an attachment disorder), I pondered the outcome of early onset device-mediated social detachment. What has been most interesting of late has been observing the trajectory of social awareness regarding screen overuse. It's standard fare these days to read about unplugging, detoxing, cutting down, or even eliminating the pervasive aspects of technology in our lives. What is rarely discussed is the underlying causal factors for screen overuse by families, and the origin of addictions in general. As we watch unbridled rates of teen suicide, addictions, and mental health disorders rise, it becomes imperative that we start to explore the family system underpinnings for such vast and pervasive poor mental health of our children and youth. This article intends to explore why families overuse screens, and why it is so hard to stop. 

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Foundation Series Workshop Schedule
February 22, 2017 - Richmond, BC
Workshop for parents on impact of technology on children sponsored by First Nations Education Steering Committee.
Contact person: Holly Smith

February 24, 2017 - Reykjavik, Iceland
Workshop for parents on impact of technology on children sponsored by City of Reykjavik.
Contact person: Sveinn S. Kjartansson

April 5, 2017 - Gibsons, BC
Parent workshop sponsored by Gibsons Public Library in conjunction with Screenagers viewing.
Contact person: Heather Evans-Cullen

Research and News Review

Childhood Development

By CBC News January 9, 2017
If we want our kids to do well, they need more movement during the school day.

By Bill Murphy Jr. January 6, 2017
Students--and especially boys--need hours of physical activity every day. They don't get enough because their schools won't let them.

By Victoria L Dunkley M.D. December 31, 2016
Children with  autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are uniquely vulnerable to various brain-related impacts of screen time.
By Ivan Semeniuk Science Reporter The Globe and Mail December 15, 2016
When the mice are placed in an enclosure where they have a chance to interact with another mouse, they would rather spend time with an orange plastic cup at the other end of the box.  It's just one of several signs that the mice are behaving in a way that closely parallels autism in humans.
Social Media & Mobile Technology

By Chris Baraniuk BBC Technology reporter January 13, 2017
A study of screen time and mental wellbeing among teenagers has suggested moderate use of devices may be beneficial in a connected world.

December 5, 2016
If we lack the self-discipline (or are simply too addicted) to stop ourselves from texting while driving, and citations and fines don't deter us either, is it time for mobile device manufacturers and wireless companies to step in and prevent drivers from engaging in this dangerous behavior?.

By Cale Guthrie Weissman December 19, 2016
Feeling over-connected and overwhelmed? Here are the apps you should get rid of for peace of mind in 2017.

By John S Klernan January 6, 2017
Becoming too connected used to be an issue kids had with stuffed animals and pacifiers. Now it's a matter of smart phones and tablets. And whether this is a positive development remains to be seen.

By Victoria L Dunkley M.D. January 3, 2017
Guilt plays a powerful role in how well parents manage kids' electronics use.

Video Games & Pornography

You Tube Channel
New to Game Quitters and need to learn the basics of how to quit playing video games? What should you do if you're bored? What about all of your friends? Watch these to increase your chance of success.

Documentary on e-sports, where w atching other people play videogames has become a multimillion-dollar industry several dozen times over.

By Margi Murphy December 20, 2016
Pimps and madams to buy up sex robots in bid to offer clients 'love free' thrills.

By Jeremiah Paul November 7, 2016
Some of the most popular games in the industry have millions upon millions of players; the author reviews the six most-played MMO PC games.

By Adam Brooker published my Families Managing Media January 2017
"You will never be able to achieve anything truly great if you spend all of your time playing video games."

By Shaun Assael January 20, 2017
Counter-Strike has spawned a wild multibillion-dollar world of online casino gambling; it's barely regulated and open to any kid who wants in.
Technology Addictions & Psychotropic Meds
By Michael D. Lemonik July 05, 2007
Humans have a habit of getting hooked on harmful things. Research reveals why, and opens the door to a cure.

By Bianca Bosker November 2016
Tristan Harris believes Silicon Valley is addicting us to our phones. He's determined to make it stop.

By Dr. Nicholas Kardaras December 17, 2016
Dr. Kardaras writes about this parental revolt against digital heroin and reminds readers of the worst effects of the obsession.
By P Dullar and P Hay January 2017
A survey to members of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists found the majority (93.7%) were familiar with the concepts of IGD/PIU. The majority (78.86%) also thought it is possible to be 'addicted' to non-gaming internet content, and 76.12% thought non-gaming addictions could possibly be included in classificatory systems.

By Mike Ives January 13, 2017 New York Times
Electroshock therapy and beatings at the boot camps have prompted outrage. Experts welcome the ban but wonder whether it will be enforced evenly.

By ESPN December 26, 2016
06:58 minute video 
"Former Michigan wrestler Marshall Carpenter shares the story of how his video game addiction forced him to drop out of school, thus destroying his wrestling career."

Education Technology
By Dr. Nicholas Kardaras December 17, 2016
There has been a growing mountain of research indicating that a screen device does not lead to better educational outcomes.

By Sally Weale, December 25, 2016 The Guardian
Educationalists, psychologists and authors also call for a minister for children to try to address 'toxic' nature of childhood.
By Sharon Noguchi December 13, 2016 Mercury News

By The Hechinger Report September 22, 2015 U.S. News & World Report
"Perhaps, it's best to invest the computer money, into hiring, paying and training good teachers."

By L.D. Rosen, A. F. Lim, J. Felt, et al June 2014 Elsevier

Program Tools & Techniques

By Patricia J. Conrod, PhD; Maeve O'Leary-Barrett, BA; Nicola Newton, PhD; et al JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(3):334-342. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.651
Selective school-based alcohol prevention programs targeting youth with personality risk factors for addiction and mental health problems have been found to reduce substance use and misuse in those with elevated personality profiles.

Online tool to help you to think about media & create goals & rules that are in line with your family's values. By creating a Personalized Family Media Use Plan, you can be aware of when you are using media to achieve your purpose.

Today apps and media compete in a race to grab our attention. Join a movement to:
- Live better with more empowering settings for our media and devices.
- Change incentives so media competes to improve our lives, not get eyeballs.
- Invent new interfaces that help us to make room for what matters.

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By Agence France Presse December 31, 2017
From 1 January, workers have 'right to disconnect' as France seeks to establish agreements that afford work flexibility but avoid burnout.

The Obama parents have chosen to raise their kids in a low-tech home environment, where the girls don't use the computer for entertainment or watch TV on school nights.

By Stan Sedberry December 27, 2016 Delta Protective Services.
15:01 minute video
Published December 08, 2016
8 Ways 5G and the Internet Of Everything Will Impact Our Lives.

WifiWifi in Schools Update
Posted on January 24, 2017
Monthly newsletter from An Electronic Silent Spring who explores What is EMR? (Electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless technologies like cell phones, cell towers, cordless DECT phones, Wi-Fi, smart meters.)
Wi-Fi In Schools and Libraries

By Dafna Tachover December 22, 2016
Dafna Tachover Speech To Maryland Public Officials About Wi-Fi In Schools (04:13 minute video)
"There is an epidemic of sickness amongst children in schools as a result of the deployment of Wi-Fi."
By Frank Hall December 18, 2016 Parents for Safe Technology
Concern Growing (02:02 minute video)
(The news reporter states that radiation exposure is low in schools however, schools are some of the worst places to be when it comes to exposure.)

By Olga Sheean December 15, 2016
STEALTH CANADA-Deep-Sixing the Science On Wireless Radiation.
By Scott O'Connell December 10, 2016 Worcester, MA -

12 November 2015 Parents for Safe Technology
20:32 minute video.

Medical / Scientific Advocacy

By Markho, F. & Tuleasca, I December 12, 2016 IEEE Xplore
"Effective actions and measures to be taken for the benefit of future generations are suggested and justified."
By Kathleen O'Brien December, 12 2016
By Peter Sullivan December 01, 2016 Clear Light Ventures
By Lennart Hardell, MD, PhD November 28, 2016
Has the WHO EMF Project Been Hijacked By ICNIRP?

Scientific Research

By E. Carvalho de Siqueira, F. Alvim de Souza, R. Gomez, et al December 09, 2016 Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
By Louis Slesin May 03, 2010 Microwave News

Legal / Legislation

By Frank Hall December 30, 2016 Baltimore, MD - WBAL News
Paula Poundstone 02:07 minute video.
Acknowledgement - The above links where first published in the NACST Newsletter December 2016 .

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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.  

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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. 

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