They are marketed as a stress-reliever to help children with learning difficulties concentrate in class.But fidget spinners have instead become such a classroom distraction that the handheld toys are being banned from schools in the US.If you haven’t yet heard of the new craze sweeping playgrounds, a fidget spinner is a three-pronged, palm-sized piece of plastic or metal which spins around a centrally weighted disc – a modern version of the old spinning top.
My two children who suffer from both ADHD and Anxiety use fidgets in and outside of the classroom on a daily basis, especially my son who has PANS, LYME, ADHD, and SPD! We even have a fidget box we keep in our car because a simple ride down the road can make him fidgety and anxious. Fidgets like the “Fidget Spinner” have been something though for years I have had to fight with schools about allowing my children to have in the classroom as they can also be a distraction to some kids with ADHD.
Just search on YouTube and you’ll find hundreds if not thousands of trick videos – the top one is a ‘professional fidget spinner’, a career I believe probably didn’t exist pre-2017.I think it’s tongue-in-cheek but he’s a millennial so I’m genuinely not sure.
In the classroom…
Children with anxiety, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder and other conditions have been using fidget spinners and other fidget devices as a distraction or sensory stimulation, this can help them stay calm in class and help them focus.
In one way, it is great other children have them too because it normalizes those with extra learning needs, but when children without additional needs start bringing them into the classroom, they become a distraction from learning.It’s a tough call for teachers and, perhaps unsurprisingly, there have been blanket bans at some schools like our own!If this toy is genuinely helping some children learn then that is fantastic.However, now that they are being banned, these children face either having to go without or having their parent send in a letter asking if they can keep hold of their fidget spinner.
So I like many other parents today went on the hunt for a fidget spinner and the fidget cube and in the video above I found some cheaper ones for my kids locally but will be buying the better-made aluminum ones on Amazon below!
What I would like to know is what you think about the fidget spinner craze? Do you have a child with special needs that this could benefit if allowed in the classroom?