T

he popular toys known as fidget spinners are incredibly simple — a few small blades that whirl around a center core — but some manufacturers have touted them as therapeutic, claiming they can be used to relieve symptoms of attention disorders, autism, and anxiety.

The evidence, however, just isn’t there. There haven’t been any thorough studies to evaluate the toys’ effect on those conditions. And experts warn that for some kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the spinners might be a harmful distraction.

“Things that are routine or have some demand, it’s much harder for children with ADHD to be able to pay attention. And so, [the spinner] may well make things worse for them,” said Dr. Mark Wolraich, a behavioral pediatrician at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center.

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Find out more about fidget spinners — and the medical claims made about them — in our video.

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  • They do help with systems of autism for definite. Spinning & self stimulation are common and well documented in ASDs anyway, and fidget spinners just play to those traits. I can’t attest to their usefulness (or harmfulness) in attention related disorders though.

  • Maybe helps with add in some cases my child not so much very much a distraction so much his participation in class had began to suffer before his school banned them in class

  • I really find spinners helpful in paying attention, even though I don’t have ADHD.
    It depends on how the person reacts on it.

    -Aiden Upton

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