The tiny fidget spinners that are twirled between two fingers have been all the rage of late and are now available everywhere, from convenience stores to online outlets.
These tiny gadgets help individuals who struggle with anxiety or have difficulty focusing. Exactly the reason why, at our AutisMag Store, we are giving away the Fidget Cubes and Fidget Spinners for FREE.
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What are Fidgets?
said Tara Yates. Tara Yates, an occupational therapy major, who is currently with Advocate Children Hospital’s Lockport outpatient center.
A fidget can also be thought of as a helpful device that can assist a person with anxiety-related disorders. These small devices range from stress balls to bendy toys. Therapists have also started recommending that students use a textured cushion to sit on.
“There are kids who really can benefit from (a fidget),” Yates said.
Are Fidgets Effective for Autism and ADHD?
Mina Griffith, assistant superintendent in Plainfield Community School District, says, “We have students who use them as an accommodation and we also teach youngsters how to take advantage of it.” However, Griffith points out, the device ends up becoming a source of distraction to some kids who do not have a disability. Students who do not have a disability are not allowed to use them.
However, Kate O’Brien, a special education teacher, has a different take on fidgets and is not much of a fan. “Fidgets really do serve a purpose,” O’Brien said, “The spinning thing? That’s a joke. You either spin it and you have to watch, or someone else is watching.”
She presents a valid argument and highlights that the tiny devices end up getting kids distracted from their regular routine. Nevertheless, the teacher also says that autistic kids love watching the tiny spinning gadgets.
O’Brien has been in the field of teaching for more than 35 years and specializes in the field of special education.
At Hadley Middle School, situated in Homer Glen, many classrooms are equipped with fidgets. Kristen Schroeder, Principal at Hadley Middle School, says that kids who need them can pick up the device and use it. The principal notes that some of the kids might be diagnosed with autism while others might need them to improve their focus.
Although Hadley school has not banned the tiny fidgets, the principal points to the fact that the spinners are fast becoming a point of distraction. Everyone wants them, she said, and the gadgets are becoming more popular day by day.
Dionte Smith, an employee at the Learning Express toy store, says the gadgets have gained a good amount of popularity in stores. Further, he says that you need to move the device fast to feel the tiny moving force.
“It’s really fun. It feels nice. I recommend it for people who want to have fun,” Smith said. But he understands how they can also be distracting. “When a kid just keeps hitting and hitting, that’s when you call attention to it.”
So, what is your take on fidgets? Do you make use of them in your daily lives? Feel free to drop your thought in the comment section below. It will help every one of us in the autism community to be better informed.
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