The fidget spinner craze has reached epic proportions. If you have a child in elementary or middle school, you’ve likely seen one…or about a hundred of them.
The 3-sided toy is fashioned in a sort of fan-like or pinwheel shape and is designed to keep restless, or fidgety, hands occupied. Keeping one’s hands busy is said to free up the mind and lead to improved concentration on other things, mainly learning and schoolwork.
Fans of the fidget spinner believe it can help children with ADHD and other learning and developmental disorders to stay focused and attentive. However, pediatric neurologist Dr. Dilip Karnik, warns that there is no support to back up these claims.
“Value is determined by serious research such as double-blind studies with clinical trials. Thus far there has been no research presented to support the claim that fidget spinners are therapeutic for those with ADHD,” said Dr. Karnik in an interview with HowStuffWorks.com.
Many, especially teachers and other educators who are seeing their classrooms taken over by these gadgets, are also questioning the value. Are they really helpful in holding a child’s attention, or with so many of them out there, are they merely becoming a distraction?
It’s mostly likely both, says Dr. Karnik. He says the best judge about whether a spinner has a positive effect in the classroom or at home is you and your child’s teacher.