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Fidgets…Why?

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Fidgets have become a trend in today’s society; they are dominating social media and selling out in stores, but why? Have you ever wondered what the actual purpose of a fidget is other than being a cool toy or part of a social media craze?

A fidget, according to Discoverexplorelearn.com, is a small toy that can fit into a child’s hand that can be squeezed, stretched or played with as the child sits and listens to the teacher.  The purpose of these fidgets is to primarily help children who have trouble focusing or sitting still.

Studies by Stalvey & Brassel in 2006 have shown that students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have shown that at most, attention improved by 27 percent. The scientists then gave 29 sixth graders three formal assessments over a ten week period where they were allowed to use fidget toys for the last seven weeks.

According to ERIC.ed.gov, the students showed significant improvement in their test scores. The average class score went from 73 percent without stress balls, to 83 percent with stress balls. Students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) could also benefit from using fidgets, as well as students on the autism spectrum.

Fidget toys aren’t only for students with sensory processing disorders, they can be for all kids who, in general, have a hard time focusing, have anxiety or cannot sit still. According to ilslearningcorner.com, the use of fidgets helps the left and right sides of the brain work together, and by repetitive movement, it helps the child to remember the subject he or she is learning by correlating the topic with that movement.

Since students with sensory processing disorders have a natural state of hyperactivity, restricting their movement makes it harder to process things and focus, but by using a fidget, they can better focus without disrupting the class.

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Fidgets…Why?