My son’s sensory issues manifest themselves with a lot of extra movement. I’d describe him as “restless.” He always seems to be “on the go,” rarely staying in one place for any length of time. Sitting still and paying attention whether it’s in school, church, or at home is a challenge for him.
Most children can be fidgety at one time or another, but kids with autism, ADHD, and sensory integration disorder (SID) are particularly prone to be distracted and fidgety.
Kids who have trouble regulating sensory input can easily become distracted, seeking out sensation to either stimulate or calm their nervous system.
Fidgeting gives them this input, usually in a way that is disruptive to their ability to learn because they’re too busy wriggling, biting their nails, doodling, or moving around the classroom.
What’s the answer? Two words: fidget toy.
- Fidget toys have been around a long time and are often used with kids with autism and those with ADD/ADHD.
- Fidget toys are self-regulation items/objects designed to help children/teens/adults to focus, attend, calm down, and listen.
- Fidget toys can help improve concentration and attention to tasks by allowing your child’s brain to filter out the extra sensory information.
Learning is enhanced when fidgets are introduced, as documented through case studies. One case study, conducted in a sixth grade classroom in Georgia, the positive effects of fidgets were well observed. Academically, the students showed growth in scholastic achievement when the fidget items were implemented. The average writing score of the class increased from 73% without fidget items to 83% with the use of fidget items. In addition, the student with a medical diagnosis of ADHD showed the most progress with an increase of 27% on a writing sample.
For my son, the absolute best fidget toy has been the Tactile Tiger Hand Fidget! He LOVES the texture of it and enjoys the feel of it against his hands or arms.
- The benefits of the Tactile Tiger Hand Fidget are that its FDA approved (which means it can also be used for oral-motor stimulation), it can double as a tactile brush, and its virtually indestructible (really important for some of us parents!).
- The one drawback of the Tactile Tiger Hand Fidget is it’s price. I thought it was a little pricey but because I purchased a couple of other items on Amazon it wasn’t too big a deal.
Overall, if you’re looking for a great fidget toy that can help your child calm down and focus then you’ll want to check out the Tactile Tiger Hand Fidget.
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