What are Fidgets and Why Your ADHD Child Needs Them

The word “fidgets” is rarely, if ever, used as a noun outside of the ADHD community. Typically, when someone fidgets, they’re making small yet distracting motions and movements, typically with their hands or feet, in a sort of restless behavior.

In the sense of a noun, however, a fidget is a small, tactile and flexible tool that children and adults alike can play with in order to have a physical outlet for their need to be restless.

Fidgets are extremely useful for ADHD sufferers. Instead of interrupting the class with their behavior — and subsequently distracting themselves with restless whims — a simple and straight-forward fidget toy allows them to have something for their hands to do while they pay attention to what’s going on around them.

Does Your Child Have ADHD?

Teachers can easily identify a suspect for ADHD, especially after working with all kinds of children year after year. In a classroom full of excitable — or bored — kids, picking that one kid that is restless and incapable of concentrating no matter what isn’t too much of a task.

But for parents who are new to the world of ADHD, truly figuring out whether or not a child is simply restless as part of his or her temperament or diet, or actually a case of ADD requires an extensive checklist, and the professional opinion of a certified psychiatrist.

As per Additude Mag, ADHD is diagnosed through 1.) signs of distractibility, and 2.) hyperactivity. Some basic signs of distractibility include an inability to complete tasks before jumping to new tasks, a constant forgetfulness that results in lost toys, possessions, homework and responsibilities, an inability to focus on studies and homework, and a level of disorganization that cannot be overcome. Another common sign, according to HealthLine, is self-focused behavior and an inability to consider other people’s needs.

Hyperactivity on the other hand is determined by constant restlessness and fidgeting, the inability to sit still for a long period of time, talkativeness (although this depends on the circumstances and content being talked about), and a problem with patience — such as cutting lines, interrupting questions and sentences, and more.

While ADHD can often look like the behavior of an unruly and disrespectful child, in cases of actual ADHD, it cannot be helped. ADHD is a recognized mental disorder, and one of the most commonly diagnosed among children as per WebMD.

How to Find a Great Fidget Toy

If your child does have ADHD and great trouble concentrating while being severely restless, then a simple and functional fidget toy can do the trick. However, not just any fidget toy will work. There is a certain criteria that needs to be met, specifically for a classroom fidget toy.

As in products like those at FidgetLand, fidget toys have to be silent. Clacking or clunky toys will distract the other kids, and cause your child to be shushed by the teacher. They also have to be incapable of visual distraction — meaning, they have to be unremarkable.

If it’s a ball fidget, then bounciness is a no-no, due to the distraction that can pose. But finally, the most important point is cost. Fidgets aren’t meant to last very long — often, your child may forget or lose them. Simple, inexpensive and safe fidgets do the trick best.