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Fidgets: Help or Hinder?

Hannah Mueller, Writer

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There is a new craze spinning across the nation- literally. Fidget toys, especially the spinners, are growing in popularity with each new day, millions rush to get their own and be apart of this new fidget movement sweeping the world, but, has it gotten out of hand? According to some schools, yes; they’ve even go so far as to ban these toys from their classrooms. Nonetheless, many teachers have openly talked about their disdain for them, yet many argue that these toys are necessary for some students. The debate around these fidgets emphasize that very point- they are helpful to some, not all, but some.

     To start on a positive note, there are a lot of benefits from having a fidget toy. Originally, these toys are meant to help those who have autism, ADD, ADHD, and anxiety; by providing a way to get rid of extra energy, they enable them to focus better at school. These individuals typically have problems focusing fully and with the new outlet, these toys make it easier to concentrate while using them. And aside from the fidget spinner, there are plenty of other fidget toys such as the cube, putty, stress balls, and much more! They’re amazing at helping to calm an individual, like in cases with anxiety, in addition to their eliminating extra energy effect. Researchers also say that as some students become under-stimulated, they become reckless and may try to find an extra source of stimulation; in this case, the new source would be these gadgets. For someone who does have this problem focusing or has autism, ADD, ADHD, or anxiety these tools are recommended if they do work for you and enable you to work and focus better.

       However, the popularity of these toys has caused them to be viewed as rather negatively. They are meant to help someone concentrate, but, especially with the fidget spinners, they’ve become a bigger distraction than they are an aid. So much so that schools in Minnesota, Nevada, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, and even the U.K. have banned the fidget spinners because of how much a distraction they’ve become. Students who see them as only toys fail to realize their intended purpose and instead of improving their concentration in class, they create a distraction- not only for themselves but, for those around them as well. Although, students who have been diagnosed with the conditions that were previously mentioned are generally allowed to keep them at the schools who’ve banned them. The problems lie in the fact that, as educators say, “the majority of children who are fascinated by fidget spinners are using them as a fun distraction, not for any therapeutic reason.” Fidgets, primarily fidget spinners, has grown into something of a fad and not for the right reason. Even experts agree with this, Elaine-Taylor Klaus who is the co-founder of ImpactADHD, a coaching service for parents of children who have ADHD, told TIME, “fidget spinners are giving fidgets a bad name.”

      The debate over fidget spinners has valid points on both sides. With these gadgets being able to help those who need it while also distracting those who don’t.  Some schools have resulted to banning the toys- usually the spinners- and allowing them only if students have been diagnosed or have brought in a doctor’s note exclusively saying that these fidgets are necessary. Yet, they do help those who need it to focus or calm down while in school which can better improve their work. Either way, these gadgets were invented with a wonderful purpose and in most cases, do serve that purpose delightfully, but when people use them only as a fun toy, the purpose is forgotten. So, what do you think? Do these gadgets help students or hinder them?  

 

Sources:

Oliver, David. “Fidget Spinners Are the Latest Craze Sweeping Your Kid’s School.” U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, 25 Apr. 2017. Web. 26 May 2017

Kim, Kristine. “Do Fidget Spinners Belong in the Classroom? Teachers Are Divided.”Education Week – Teaching Now. N.p., 16 May 2017. Web. 26 May 2017.

Best, Joel. “The Fidget Spinner Fad: Adults Don’t Get It, and That’s the Point.” CNN. Cable News Network, 22 May 2017. Web. 26 May 2017.

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Fidgets: Help or Hinder?