Fidget Spinner2

Do Fidget Spinners help ADH or autism disorder?

The toy has been advertised as helping people who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting, by relieving nervous energy or psychological stress. And mainly sold as a tool to  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  As of May 2017, there is no scientific evidence that the toy can effectively help in the treatment for autism or ADHD.

For the first time I noticed this strange looking object in one of the students hands in class. What is that I asked and he smilingly called it a Fidget Spinner. According to the net, a fidget spinner,is a toy that consists of a ball-bearing in the center of a multi-lobed flat structure, made from metal or plastic, designed to spin along its axis with minimal effort. The Guardian and The New York Times, have recently declared that Catherine Hettinger, a woman living in the Orlando area in the USA, as the inventor of the fidget spinner. But sadly, Hettinger isn’t involved in any of the companies that are making the popular toys and told The Guardian that she is having financial difficulties. Hettinger, 62, is a chemical engineer by training was granted a patent in 1997. Patent holders have to pay periodically to maintain their patents, but Hettinger had let the spinning toy patent lapse in 2005. Over a decade later, in 2016, the finger-spinning toy has become a massive hit, being sold in millions to youngsters across the globe.

Fidget spinners became popular toys in 2017, although similar devices had already been invented as early as 1993. The toy became popular among schoolchildren and as a result, some schools banned the spinners for being a distraction.

The toy has been advertised as helping people who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting, by relieving nervous energy or psychological stress. And mainly sold as a tool to  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  As of May 2017, there is no scientific evidence that the toy can effectively help in the treatment for autism or ADHD.

Talking to Christine Pereira who is a senior teacher in Perth, West Australia, she categorically said, “They are banned from my classes. The taller and bigger the students are, all have one of them. I seriously find them such a pain and if visible, they are confiscated for the period like mobile phones.”

Chatting with young  Sherin Dhote an undergraduage student she says, “ My initial reaction to a fidget spinner was definitely one of awe. Honestly, when I spin it in public places, it soothes me but now that everybody is using it all the time and everywhere, it is a kind of a nuisance and highly overrated. So, my current reaction to a fidget spinner is annoyance.”

She goes on to say the she does not think that the fidget spinner is particularly useful to people suffering from ADHD or any other attention deficit problems as it might cause them to be more distracted. But she does feel that  the fidget spinner could come in handy to anybody suffering from any kind of anxiety as people with anxiety always want something to fidget with. As someone suffering from social anxiety, she feels the fidget spinner is slightly calming. But interestingly she feels that the fidget spinner should be banned from the classroom even though it is a bit extreme because it distracts not only the person using it but also the other students in the class and the teacher. “ I think, using a fidget spinner in class not only disrupts the flow of the class but it is also disrespectful towards the teacher.”

Another young student Merissa Bose who is a dancer said, “ When I first heard of a fidget spinner, I looked up for videos on it and was really fascinated and had to get myself one. It’s nice to play with it at times but I don’t see why one should get addicted to it. The latest reports have indicated that several kids have injured themselves badly because of nonstop, playing which causes disfiguring of the fingers and blisters being formed. So, instead of providing medical solutions it has ended up providing medical conditions.”

She does feel that it certainly helps to pass the time but doubts it’ll have any impact on medical conditions as claimed by the company. She is concerned that it could become an obsession with kids and could lead to addiction.

Interestingly she too feels it should be banned from class because most of the time the student ends up concentrating on the fidget spinner instead of focusing on the lesson at hand.

While Nidhi Rejithlal who is also a student says, “ My sister bought one recently, and I have tried it a few times. I never felt like it reduced my stress. Its a simple “time-pass” toy and nothing more than that according to me. I do not know if it can be used to help people with ADHS, but definitely it doesn’t help to relieve anxiety or stress from my experience.”

However she does feel it needs to be banned because it not only distracts the person using it, but also the people around him. This is because of the noise it makes which she finds very annoying.

Looking at the Fidget Spinner , Noah Reuben a film making student, has a completely different point of view. He says, “ I think its useful because, I find it easier to pay attention and listen in class while having a fidget spinner in my hand. I don’t think it should be banned in class, although there are a few students who are totally engrossed with the fidget spinner that they forget to pay attention in class.”

Nishant Shankar a student from the Bachelor of Vocations class (BVOC) says, “ The fidget spinner started off as a small experimental toy and gradually got popular because the fad caught on and it was the cool thing to own and flaunt around. This toy may be a useful tool to those who are fidgety but would also turn non – fidgety hands into fidgety hands. It should definitely be banned from class for the following reasons : It makes a buzzing sound that is very distracting. It is always passed around from one bench to the other. I believe that it drops concentration levels.”

Whatever the students or the teachers say, the Fidget Spinner has become a popular fad and untill it dies down, they are here to stay!

 



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