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Fidget Spinners

Maybe They Are Not So Bad, After All, Maybe

By Jenna LoganPublished 7 years ago 3 min read

So, you've seen them, right? Maybe your kid has one, or five. Maybe your neighbor? Those cheap little toys known as a fidget spinner. They are a new novelty, item, all the rage in schools across the nation.

I admit, as a Special Education Paraeducator, I initially thought, "Hey, what a great concept!" I mean, really, a way to keep our active and bouncy kids' hands occupied sounded like a grat idea.

Then, a child brought one into my first-grade classroom. I totally changed my mind.

First, these kids need to look at the spinner to keep it going. NO eyes on the teacher at all and classmates were distracted as well.

Second, it was bright neon green and glow in the dark. The kid put it on his desk, and had to skoosh down into his seat, to watch it spin and glow.

Third, as I heard from other teachers and paras, in the upper grades the kids were losing them on the playground and the bus.

Yeah, not a great idea, at all.

Ok, so yeah, they keep the kid's hands occupied, so maybe they are not playing with shoe laces, pencils, etc, but they are also occupying their minds. This means no learning is taking place, generally speaking.

I was very opposed at this point, and stated as much in parent groups, as the topic came up. I agreed with the educators that banned the toys from the classroom. I am sorry but, there are other fidgets that are less distracting, that can be written into an iep.

Then, my 15-year-old son bought one, on Amazon, for himself. A lovely red base, with black gear shaped wheels. Not flashy at all, but:

AHHHHH. Yeah, Momma was not amused. Went right against my feelings about the thing. But it is summer, and maybe the novelty will wear off, by school time, right?

It came in, and he quickly learned how to use the thing. Now he sits in front of his youtube, or tv, spinning the toy. Spinning the toy, while watching YouTube or TV.

Did you catch what I said? He was still able to watch the screen, without watching the spinner.

LIGHTBULB!

So, maybe I was a bit hasty in my total turn against all things fidget spinner. Maybe, just maybe it is not so bad. I mean, if my 15-year-old HFA boy can use the device, without being distracted, maybe others can.

I thought about it, for a bit and continued to watch my kiddo and his spinner.

With the exception of dropping it, here and there, he was doing a great job spinning without looking. Using the spinner, was keeping him from doing the fingertip to palm tap he does all the time, it was keeping him from cracking his knuckles and his toes. And the BIGGEST thing of all? He was not tossing his phone and catching it!!!

I have come to a conclusion:

If used in an age appropriate manner, in dull colors, then yeah, a fidget spinner is a great tool.

Age? I think that 12 and up is a must. Any child younger will play with it as a toy, and not for what it is used for.

Color? Keep it dull. skip the neons and glow in the darks. It is not a toy.

Use for school? I am still skeptical here. Even as tweens, and teens, many kiddos can be distracted by such toys, when they see someone using it. Consult with your SPED department, and see what they think.

What do YOU think about fidget spinners? Let me know in the comments below!

God Bless!

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About the Creator

Jenna Logan

Christian, ASD mom, and Published Author.

Jesus, my son, and Autism are my life's passions.

Contact me at [email protected]

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    Jenna LoganWritten by Jenna Logan

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