Fidget Spinners Can Help Children With ADHD, Autism, Doctors Say

By Lynne Adkins and Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They’re all the rage much to the annoyance of teachers.

Fidget Spinners are in hands everywhere, keeping kids busy in the car, watching television or sitting in class. Many claim it helps keep them focused. Dr. Meghan Walls, a pediatric psychologist at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, says for students with ADHD or autism they could be helpful.

“They may be beneficial to kids who have these deficits,” Walls said. “They probably don’t need to be used across the board. So for parents, if your child has a diagnosis of ADHD, if they’re a kid who seems to do better when they’re fidgeting and moving, then absolutely talk to the teacher, talk to the school.”

READ: Fidget Spinner: What Is The Popular New ‘Toy’?

Doctors say objects have been used for years to keep hyper children focused, often with success.

“The occupational therapists have long used these distracters to help people concentrate on what they’re doing,” said Dr. Steven Shapiro, Chairman of Pediatrics at Abington Hospital Jefferson Health. “[They’ve been used] for kids in the spectrum of autism, basic developmental disorders, in the spectrum of severe ADHD, where there’s a severe distractible component.”

But Shapiro agrees that while they may keep some children focused, not every kid needs to be fingering fidget spinners in school.

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