Recently a number of schools have issued bans on children using fidget spinners and fidget cubes in class, calling them a ‘distraction’ from learning.
It’s not a massive surprise – they’ve become somewhat of a craze recently, and it seems like all kids are spinning them around and occasionally throwing them their classmates.
But what schools that have issues the bans are missing is how much of a help fidget spinners and cubes can be for students with anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health issues.
Fidget spinners and fidget cubes have been popping up in anxiety groups on Facebook and touted as remedies for overwhelming worries for a while now, but it’s only fairly recently that parents have discovered their benefits for kids.
How can fidget spinners and cubes actually help with anxiety and ADHD?
To ban the products outright may avoid any injuries or the risk of distraction, but it’s also taking a way a tool to help children deal with difficulties paying attention and feeling comfortable in class. That’s an issue.
‘Items or strategies that allow a a child to have a distraction can be beneficial if that child or adult is suffering from anxiety or trauma symptoms,’ Dr Rachel Andrew, director of Time Psychology, told metro.co.uk.
‘If a child has a difficulty like ADHD, ASD or sensory processing issues, items like this can also help by providing either sensory stimulation or distraction.’
The clicking, spinning, and twirling children and adults can do with fidget spinners and cubes help to keep hands busy and provide a distraction or sensory stimulation for those with specific mental health issues.
Yes, they can distract from lessons – but they’ll also distract from anxiety or trauma symptoms, and can soothe children with sensory issues.
Without being able to use these products, these children will likely be unable to focus on lessons: but because of their mental health struggles, not the subtle clicking away of a pocket-size cube.
It’s a tricky situation for school professionals, who don’t want to cause kids any stress but also want to avoid injuries or distraction, but it’s important to remember that fidget cubes and spinners aren’t toys or trends like Beyblades or sticky aliens. For those that need them, they’re tools that can provide huge benefits.
Dr Andrew recommends that if you’re a parent whose child relies on aids such as fidget spinners or cubes, it’s worth talking to the school to find a way to work around any ban – and to explain why these aids are necessary for your child.
‘If a child is struggling with sensory issues, ASD, ADHD, anxiety or trauma and is reliant on such an aid for certain situations, I would recommend any parent or child seek advice from their child’s teachers or school SEN lead about other strategies and products that might help their child that the school would find acceptable,’ she explains.
‘These products are not a panacea for these difficulties, and through a conversation I would hope that parents and teachers can find a way forward.’
Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/27/how-can-fidget-spinners-and-cubes-actually-help-with-anxiety-and-adhd-6600740/#ixzz4jopGWsDN