Are Fidget Spinners a distraction for children?

- Fidget is supposed to help kids concentrate, but is that really happening? A metro Detroit teacher says the fidgets are nothing but a frustrating distraction in her classroom. Occupational therapists say the fidgets can work if a child can channel energy into the device and then focus on the task.

The simple three-prong toy is taking over. It's called a "fidget spinner" - a device meant to help kids who fidget.

"You hold it between your thumb and your middle finger and you just kind of spin it," 6th grader Miguel Vega said.

Vega loves soccer, but really loves his fidget spinner. He and his friends bring them to school and play with them under their desks.

"It's kind of addictive because it relieves stress and you just want to keep spinning it on your finger," he said.

What is a fidget spinner?

Some claim the toy relieves anxiety and can even help those with autism or ADHD.

Dr. Amy Serin works with patients with these disorders. She says she's not convinced.

"Some kids say if they fidget it does help them focus a little bit but with some of these fidget toys you end up distracting everyone around you," she said.

Some schools ban fidget spinners for that very reason, but others welcome them.

"Some of the teachers in our classes use them too because they just think it's really cool," 8th grader Heriberto Munguia said.

Dr. Serin says parents of kids with ADHD can be desperate for solutions but shouldn't fall prey to good marketing moves.

"I think that schools should allow children to move about the classroom move while learning, put more recess back in the day, don't skimp on P.E. because that's really what helps these kids regulate," Dr. Serin said.

Metro Detroit teachers say they're nothing but a frustrating distraction. Therapists say they can work if they channel energy on to the device and focus on specific tasks.

 

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