Fidget Spinners - what do you think? — Scope | Disability forum
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Fidget Spinners - what do you think?

Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
So fidget spinners are in the news of late, if you don't know what they are, they were originally designed to help kids with conditions like autism and anxiety deal, but have now become a popular toy.  A toy that is now being banned in schools across the UK, so what happens to all those kids who use them for their original use?

My son got a fidget cube last year to help him with anxiety, and my youngest got one recently as a toy.  Neither feel they need or want to take them to school and so it isnt an issue for us but I wondered what other people thought.  I asked a few friends and here are their responses:

Susan said "My Nephew has one and is encouraged to use it at school, he has ADHD and does benefit, what will they do if they move for the ban!"

Violet said "They've banned it from my son's school as of this week - ironically I was going to order him one! I would imagine he'd be allowed, cos of his ASD. But his is a fairly small school (500 kids) and semi-rural - I suspect bigger urban schools will be less likely to make exceptions. I think personally they should be allowed in schools for those kids with a dx, but no one else"

Rae said "My son has one and he really likes it but darent take it to school as they've been told that they will be confiscated.. not sure if it helps him concentrate but definitely seems to ease his anxiety. It's definitely different having it as a toy and having it as something to help calm down.. N wouldn't want to look different though so he'd not want to use it in front of others."

Jane says "Banned at my sons school unless you have a note outlining your need for one"

Philippa said "My child has ASD and he really benefits from using his. I can see why they would be banned as a toy from school but think if it's beneficial for a child who has additional needs that should be placed in the provision map for that child."

Trixie said: "why are they being banned? Given the difficulties parents (and kids) have to go through to actually GET a DX, surely they should be allowed for anyone if it helps them concentrate?"

So what are your thoughts on fidget spinners and cubes? Does your child have one? Does it help them? How would you feel if they were banned at school? Do you think they should be banned for all kids?

Senior online community officer


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
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  • clarematt
    clarematt Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    My son has a fidget toy at school for an SPD. His school are fantastic at letting other children know why he has one in class. I can see that very soon the school may ban the fidget spinners but I'm 100% confident this will not effect my son as the school are already very aware of who really needs one and those children will be allowed to keep their fidget toys. I think this is much like every other trend, moon balls, loom bands etc. They have to ban them as the use of them becomes disruptive. They'll be old news in a few weeks and most schools will be sensible In their management of any ban verses real needs. 
  • rubyfirecracker
    rubyfirecracker Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    My son is on the spectrum and has a fidget spinner. He doesn't need it for release but wanted it as a toy. I agreed and got him one. I also work in a college with the students who have autism and SEN and I think the spinners are wonderful!
    Firstly, the spinners and cubes are great release toys for students and kids that need that to aid concentration and reduce stress and anxiety. Anything that does that is great! But secondly, the fact that these "toys" are becoming a craze for ALL kids and students is even promotes inclusion for the ones that find it hard to socialise...common ground and interests that openly encourage social interaction and potentially the making of friends. Skills that anyone with ASD can find hard. I absolutely do not think that they should be banned at all! I certainly won't be banning them and am actually ordering them in for my students to use. Keep spinning! 
  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Community member Posts: 596 Pioneering

    I think anyone who is using fidget spinners and cubes as a way of coping with anxiety and anything else which causes issues should be accepted. People who are not using them as coping mechanisms, just messing with them for fun, it's ok to ban them.

    If someone needs them to cope they should not be confiscated, if the individual takes in evidence that it's a coping mechanism.

    You can't have one rule for one group and another rule for another group.
  • Trixie
    Trixie Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Am I here??!!!! Just registered in response to Sam's discussion subject :)

    I've already given Sam a quote about it but I'd value the opportunity to say something further - even 'more' out of the box of traditional education 'rules and regs' with regards to how our children learn and assimilate information.

    I was a teaching assistant for 2 years in an alternative education provision that worked with children EXCLUDED from mainstream education because they had a DX of autism, attachment issues and every other label thrown at a child to make them feel (and BE) DIFFERENT. The schools they went to couldn't cope and/or couldn't fund specialist workers for them.

    The 'way' of learning for these children wasn't in a classroom. It was a way of learning using equine/animal interaction ....(horses and sometimes goats ;) ) and generally being in the open, interacting with nature and being free of a classroom environment within 4 walls.

    We did maths, English, geography and all the other subjects in-between - just not in the traditional sense! And the main facilitators of the learning were horses!

    So ... it irks me A LOT to think that a mere 'toy' that could help DX'd pupils (and many other non-DX'd pupils) is being banned in a learning environment.

    Unless someone takes an AWFUL LOT OF TIME to assess each individual pupil to see if they would benefit from a 'toy' in the classroom (and I don't even see it as a toy!) then it's a no-brainer to ban it!

    If it were up to me personally, I'd take a whopping great HORSE into the classroom and see where it took the learning.

    The more we control the conditions of learning for our children the less we will gain.
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    @tmd63 @nicscifichick @kieran @Gin @winterrose98 @Blessed999 @katdoylie
    @colleen @cetaylormade I wondered if any of you had experience with these fidget cubes or spinners?
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Senior online community officer
  • Harp
    Harp Community member Posts: 83 Pioneering
    They shouldn't be banned for those who help but for everyone else should be banned using them.  I think the cube is less a problem but the spinners can cause damage
    Everyone has the right to have a say in what ever method they use

  • zzzsmokeyzzz
    zzzsmokeyzzz Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    I think in school they are too much of a distraction but all fidgets should not be banned. My son functions and focuses so much better with a fidget near him when working on school work. This is a blog post I wrote about it.

    Happy Hands Are Happy People!
  • HFALaura52
    HFALaura52 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    hi there, im 17 and i have (high functioning) autism and anxiety and i got a fidget spinner, i am no longer in college/school/education (i changed about 7 secondary schools and was only in college for a week) due to bullying because of my autism and because of suicide attempts and my anxiety, but this week i started volunteering at one of scopes charity shops! and i do 4 days a week, 6 hours a day because i enjoy it so much and everyone is really understanding! i dont use my fidget spinner as much but i carry it with me just in case along with another sensory toy! it helps to have it there, incase i do need it! Laura xxx
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @HFALaura52 I am so glad you are enjoying volunteering at our shops!!   :)
    Senior online community officer


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