Fidget Spinners – what you need to know

Marketed as the latest gadget to help reduce anxiety and tension for children or adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition, Fidget Spinners are the latest hand-held spinning gismo to be taking the market by storm.

Here’s what you need to know:

1 – Do they really help?

There’s no real scientific evidence to suggest they can help ASC, ADHD or associated conditions – HOWEVER – we do know for many children, young people and adults on the spectrum small tools like these can go a long way in offering comfort and calm when anxiety levels begin to rise.

2- How do they work?

In general the most popular fidget spinners at the moment tend to take the form of a three-pronged plastic toy, with three holes, ball bearings and a flat ‘cap’ in the middle to enable the sides to spin. The silent whirring, the pattern made by spinning and the repetitive action would make them something that is potentially useful for some people with an ASC. 

3- How much do they cost?

Unlike many items hitting ‘craze’ level these small devices can be bought for as little one pound. Online sellers have them ranging from pennies right up to more than a tenner for ‘limited’ colours and now high street stores and markets have started selling them too. The very cheap ones may not be made of the most robust plastic or fibreglass and may not withstand constant usage.

4- Is there a downside?

Schools have started banning them! Despite being harmless in terms of how they can hurt or impede on a child, the tiny tri-sided toys are causing a huge distraction for students and teachers. We would suggest letting your child’s school know if you have a genuine reason for allowing your child to take the spinner to school – ie. It helps with transition anxiety.

5- What next?

There’s already a growing market for the spinner’s sibling – the Fidget Cube. The small six-sided gadget has buttons, pull strings, clickers and a raft of options to give those who like the noise, feeling and opportunity for repetitive tasks the perfect palm-size comforter.