6 Things To Consider Before You Buy Your Child A Fidget Spinner
New trend marketed as device to help children with ADHD
“Just sit down and be still” might be the worst piece of advice a person could give a child with ADHD.
Studies have shown that activity and movement can be very beneficial to children with ADHD and can aid in their ability to pay attention and learn.
Short bursts of exercise during frequent breaks can be a solution but the number of schools cancelling PE and recess has seemingly increased. In addition, children with ADHD are frequently punished by restriction of PE/recess or asked to complete work during these important breaks in their day.
Outside of vigorous physical activity, studies have shown that children with ADHD perform better on tests of attention and learning when they move. The problem is, if it is not controlled, that movement can be disruptive and distracting to the child with ADHD, their classmates and their teachers.
A new class of products, called fidget devices, seeks to solve that problem by giving children an opportunity to have a slight distraction in a controlled way.
Fidgets devices come in a wide range of options - fidget cubes, fidget spinners and fidget eggs are just a few of the options. Most have a variety of actions that you can do such as spinning, flipping a switch, rolling a ball or turning a dial.
Studies have been done on related items, such as stress balls, which have shown increased attention and learning while children are using them, but we are still awaiting evidence on the effectiveness of the newer and more versatile devices.
So fidgets aren’t for every kid and children should know that sometimes they won’t be welcomed in their classrooms.
But I believe they can serve a purpose for some children. You may even see me using one now and again.
About the Author
Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. His interest in communications started when he realized that his parents were relying more on the internet for medical information. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” is set to open in Trophy Club in 2017.