Fidget Spinners are driving teachers mad all over the country - much like the dreaded laser pointers from back in my day, although we didn’t try to claim therapeutic effects by way of the distracting red light. The Spinners are claiming to help with anxiety and ADHD, but the evidence is anecdotal at best and BS marketing at worst.
Child psychologists Dr. Dave Anderson, Scott Kollins, and Victoria Prooday have all said that there is no evidence that Fidget Spinners help with ADHD or anxiety, and instead serve as a distraction due to the instant gratification of the toy. In this light, it seems like the perfect toy for our time.
There are tried and tested methods that can help children with ADHD and anxiety relief and these entertainment toys should not be used as an excuse for kids to be disruptive in classrooms. Although, maybe they will help children develop their debating skills as they plead their cases to teachers across the country to keep their toy spinning on their desks. However, as Dr. Anderson notes, one positive about them is they have brought attention to the discussion about what CAN help anxiety and ADHD.
If you don’t understand why people are into spinning pieces of plastic all of a sudden, Michael McCrudden traces the Fidget Spinner’s history back to its 1997 origin in the video above. This is a trend that’s 20 years in the making.