Do Fidget Spinners Help With ADHD and Autism?

 

There are reports that some fidget spinners – small top-like gadgets you can spin fast with your fingers, meant to help children focus – are advertised as stress relievers and are even said to be "perfect for ADD, ADHD, anxiety and autism." Is this true?

Maryland-based occupational therapist Katherine Ross-Keller says, "Fidgets are great tools for kids who need them, as long as there are ground rules set up with the child and educator in advance, and as long as the child can follow the rules,".

But how could they help those with ADHD? Crista Hopp, an ADHD coach based in Virginia, said that "when hands or any other body part is moving, an individual is able to focus more on what they need to."

Julie Schweitzer, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the MIND Institute of the University of California, Davis said. fidgeting can help kids pay attention.

In June 2015, a study in the journal Child Neuropsychology, Schweitzer found that kids with ADHD who fidgeted and squirmed more intensely wound up performing better on a test that required their attention.

Matthew Lorber, MD, a child psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, says there have been studies that have shown in general that someone with ADHD with something to fidget with — such as tapping a pen — perform better on tasks.

Story of an Autism Family. Published on May 7th 2017

 

 

An article from TheMighty.com  by Leslie Templeton. Published on May 14th 2017.

In second grade I would kick my feet under my desk. This wasn’t a light paddle kind of kick, but wildly kicking the desk up with my feet, causing a commotion and a lot of noise. It would completely disrupt the class and I would get yelled at. I would have to stay in for recess because of something out of my control. I remember my regular ed teachers putting heavy books on my lap to try to get me to stop, but I had so much energy my legs would just kick. There was also a time they put tape on my legs (I could easily break the tape) that would lightly tug on my clothing as I started to kick, trying to act as a reminder. But still, my feet swung.

As much as I tried to stop, the second my mind lost focus (which as a child with severe ADHD was literally every three minutes) my legs would start going again. My special ed teacher found a solution, a piece of fabric I could play with in my hands, and suddenly my legs stopped kicking. Over the years I’ve tried different things to get the relief, and I have found nothing more helpful than my fidget cube. Read the rest of the article here.