Is Your Child a TOAD?
Local Physical Therapist writes innovative book
by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three
Televisions, smart phones, computers, gaming devices, and “i-everything” are continually vying for your children’s attention; and the screens almost always win, creating a population of technologically-obsessed kids. Tim Terrio, local therapy and wellness expert, noticed this shift in cultural norm and wrote a children’s book, “The Terrible TOAD Takeover!” to teach kids about the dangers of Technology Overload Attention Deficit (T.O.A.D.).
“Most kids today have no clue how much time they spend on technology,” says Terrio. “All of their entertainment comes from a screen when they should be physically active, but they are not.”
Studies continue to show increased rates of obesity and chronic diseases in children due to lack of physical activity and poor nutrition. The percentage of physically fit kids continues to decrease while the rate of obesity continues to rise. But, worst of all, kids are missing out on everything around them, because their sole focus is their phone.
“The Terrible TOAD Takeover!” is a modern day fairy tale with a technology twist and illustrations by a mother-and-daughter team, Rebecca Richardson Owens and Samantha Owens Purdy. “I wanted to create a fun, light-hearted way of starting the conversation about when we lose ourselves to technology. I started thinking about it when I became aware of how much time I was personally spending on technology, smart phone, iPad, laptop, computer, and TV. Then, I started to look around and see that I wasn’t the only one,” Terrio says.
The first step to solving any problem is realizing that there is actually a problem. “The Terrible TOAD Takeover!” is the starting point of having an honest conversation about the time we waste on technology and our need for constant entertainment. Time is a terrible thing to waste.
“I’m hoping that parents, teachers, and all other adults will set up “No TOAD times” or no technology when families will actually have meals together and real conversations and not sit around a table with each person looking at their phones,” Terrio says. “Or, maybe take their kids to the park and play with them instead of sitting on a bench staring at a screen. I’d like to start a TOAD Test (challenge) and see if people can go without accessing a smart phone, iPad, video game, or computer for 24 hours! How many people could make it?”
As a Physical Therapist, Certified Athletic Trainer, and Certified Strength Coach for over 20 years, Terrio has personally assisted thousands of clients to recover function after injury or surgery and has earned a reputation for solving complex problems with innovative solutions. With a personal philosophy of treating the entire person, Terrio has continued to develop programs that promote increased health and wellness of which one of the keys is mindfulness that we are losing to technology overload.