If you have a school-aged child, you’ve likely heard about the newest “it” toy: the fidget spinner. These sensory toys — originally developed for children with autism, anxiety and ADD/ADHD — are now cropping up in classrooms across the country as a way to channel “restless energy” and therefore improve memory and focus.
These trendy spinners are made from metal or plastic, and have a bearing in the center with prongs that spin around. While the intent is for better concentration, schools are beginning to ban the spinners after they’ve created widespread interruptions in classrooms.
“Spinners are highly distracting to students and those around them,” wrote one middle school in Massachusetts in a message asking parents to keep their children from bringing them to class. “There is no doubt that for some students (very few) a type of school approved fidget is a good idea on some occasions. The majority of students do not need the distraction.”
“If a kid is really spinning it and doing math and reading, more power to them, and if they can use it like that at home, but I’m concerned about using it in a classroom,” licensed psychologist Dr. Wendy Rice in an interview with Fox 13.
Pennsylvania teacher Molly Callaghan agrees, saying that the trend has caused more harm than good in her classroom. “Here’s the thing: When a student needs a fidget it is usually directly outlined in their individualized education program, but now I have all these kids who don’t need them bringing them in and playing with them incorrectly,” she explained to GoodHousekeeping.com.”I’ve almost wanted to ban them, but I know there are kids who really do need them so it’s complicated.”
It seems that Callaghan is not alone. Teachers have also taken to Twitter to share their frustrations with the toy.
If you think your child is in need of fidget spinner, or is misusing one they have, you should work directly with your child’s school to determine what’s the best course of action.
[h/t: Huffington Post]