Spinners are the hottest new toys. They are being used at home, work, and in class. Youtube is flooding with instructional videos on spinning techniques and tricks. Not only is this toy fun. It claims to be “a great toy for fidgeters, anxiety, focusing, ADHD, Autism, Quitting Bad Habits, and Staying Awake” Some on Amazon are even marketed as a way to ‘bring out your genius.”
With these claims, it seems like the product would be harmless in class, improving student’s focus and performance. You could conclude that Spinners would bee popular with students who need sensory toys like tactile discs, koosh balls and putties to soothe their sensory-processing issues. So… what’s all the fuss about?
There are no studies that specifically prove that Spinners are perfect for ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, and Autism. Teachers complain that they go beyond disruption, causing schools in Kentucky, New York, and Massachusetts to band the toy.
In the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, researches found that exercise has been proven to help kids with ADHD. The Spinner does not do that. There is not enough body movement which is responsible for increasing activity in the frontal and prefrontal brain areas that are responsible for sustaining attention. Children with ADHD would benefit more with small non distracting motor movements of limbs or large parts of the body.
Although right now Spinners are the latest fun solution for all types of attention disorders, it soon may be just seen as a toy with overblown claims.