Fidget Spinner for Autism (A Comprehensive Guide)

There has been observed an upsurge in the usage of fidget spinners around the world among the kids and adult populations.

The companies making toys have labeled fidget spinners advantageous for the improvement of attention and focus among the kids who are suffering from autism, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

Liliya John’s renowned research has claimed that there is no empirical evidence to support these assertions and information from all over the world has shown that fidget spinner is not good rather it is harmful and has potential risks for children.

Thus claiming that there is no such thing to be related to fidget spinner autism.

In this article we will discuss fidget spinner autism. 

Fidget spinners are a category of fidget tools

Fidget spinners are the tools that can be grabbed in hand are widely accessible in any shape and size which also comprise stress balls, putty, fidget cubes, bubble wraps, and bracelets.

Fidget spinner is equipped with a ball bearing device in its center and is made up of metal or plastic.

Fidget spinner is usually spun between the fingers.

The increase in the popularity of fidget spinners has been seen in recent times but they are available in markets since the 1990s.

Little kids of fidget spinners are accessible these days which have been equipped with LED lights.

Fidget spinners Autism for peace?

Catherine Hettinger an American researcher has claimed that fidget spinner autism was invented for a way to promote peace.

On her visit to Israel, Catherine was shocked to see that stones were being thrown at police.

She then made a decision to come up with a toy that will work as a distractor and will provide them a comforting experience to discharge their heaped up energies.

In 1997, she was given permission to manufacture the fidget spinner but later on she gave up on the contract because she was unable to afford the money to pay for getting her contract renewed in 2005.

After this happened, many of the other firms began to produce their own fidget spinners and towards the start of 2017 it grabbed the attention of everyone and became a worldwide sensation for everyone including kids and adults as well.

Most of the companies did not follow the idea of Catherine because they relied on different mechanisms.

What is the principle behind fidget tools?

The main element behind fidget spinner was its effectiveness, an individual should move instead of the tool.

When a person moves his hand any other parts of the body are moving, it aids him to concentrate less on the hands and more on the task.

For example, every one of us gets engaged in some kinds of fidgeting behavior in our normal routine whether intentionally or unintentionally, such as pressing the button of ballpoint, biting the nails of the finger, or fidgeting with paper clips while a person is on the call.

Tutors, parents, behavioral counselors, and career counselors have been using fidget spinners for a longer period of time to provide aid to kids and adults with behavioral, attentiveness, and sensual problems to solve the issue of restless behavior and to keep people focused and attentive.

When the fidget spinner autism was used by individuals suffering from autism and ADHD, the fidget spinner autism provided the people with these issues away to channelize their and energies for bringing improvements to the executive functioning and skill of the working memory while being engaged in complex issues.

What’s the problem with fidget spinners?

The issues with fidget spinner autism are that these fidget spinners autism is not designed similar to the other fidget tools.

The fidget spinner autism is gears which are suggested by the counselors are mainly focused on giving the feel where the people hold these tools in their hands and can influence the people without the people looking at them.

On either side, hand-eye coordination is required by fidget spinner autism.

In order to operate the fidget spinner autism it has to be held in the center of the fidget spinner autism with the thumb and finger and then by using the other hand or another finger of the same hand so that it can rotate.

As the fidget spinner autism begins to spin it appears to be visually attractive and diverting the person using it and the people around him as well.

The continuous visual attention is required to keep the fidget spinner autism rotating and balanced as well.

Thus, students do not pay attention or pay minor attention to the teacher while they start rotating the fidget spinner autism in the classroom.

On either side of it, various types of other fidget tools such as stress ball, putty, and other relaxing fidget tools do not require the coordination among hand and eye and also do not require a person to be visually attentive.

Such items are considered to be friendly for the classroom environment and help students in concentrating on their tasks and thus they are less distracting.

Preferably fidget items require a continuous movement of the body which aids the person using them to keep the compulsory levels of arousals to finish the task which is demanded cognitively.

Very little movement of the body is required for the fidget spinner autism and thus does not give the sensory input which is helpful in concentrating on the tasks at hand.

Should we allow spinners in schools?

The school children are already attracted to using fidget spinners frequently around the globe which has given rise to potential problems in the classroom environment where it is impacting the atmosphere of learning.

Education experts and the teachers have shown serious reservations about the use of fidget spinner among the children in the classroom as they do not allow the students to concentrate on the task in class.

In the United States of America, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom most of the schools have barred the students to bring fidget spinner autism in the class.

In the recent past in a Waikato school the fidget spinner was banned because it was causing a distraction for the students in the class and outside the class as well.

Additionally, it was found to be disturbing the momentum of the class, the issues related to the owners were also caused by the fidget spinner autism among students.

The dangers of fidget spinners

Among 10 of the most harmful toys the fidget spinner has also been listed by the World Against Toys Causing Harm NGO.

This NGO is striving to create cognizance about the threatening products made for the children.

In the recent past, the fidget spinner has also been found to be listed as one of the 10 worst toys in 2017 byWorld Against Toys Causing Harm NGO.

World Against Toys Causing Harm has also warned the caretakers to be cautious while purchasing the fidget spinner autism due to the potential health risks.

They have warned in the context of different events that came to light all over the world on the risk and threats to wellbeing and safety linked with the using fidget spinner.

These risks comprise of clogging, fire dangers and damage.

In the United States, a 10-year-old was described to closelyplug to demise and needed an operation when one of the metallic brushings got in her gullet when she put it in her mouth to clean.

In another incident while the fidget spinner autism was being charged it burst into flames.

Additionally, the fidget spinners with a lower standard are also accessible in the markets which are more susceptible to get broke which can cause a physical injury to arise.

What does the research say about fidget spinners?

Julie Schweitzer is a professor and clinical psychologist at the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute at the University of California, Davis.

Schweitzer is also performing her duties at the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute as director of Attention and it has been 25 years since she is studying about the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The media contacted her after another incident happened due to fidget spinner and she was of the view that fidget spinner has been proving to be distractor rather than being a beneficial tool.

When there is no empirical evidence she showed hesitation in endorsing the usage of the fidget spinners until or unless the study in future supports its usage as being a beneficial tool and also it does not cause disruption for other people.

There is a need to research on fidget spinners in order to search if there are any significant differences made by them and for whom she further added.

It was also recommended by her that there is a need to make clear the rules and regulations regarding it if it is being allowed inside the classroom.

In the near future a literature review in the journal Current Opinions in Pediatrics, the investigators have found literature regarding sensory toys and concern and side effects as well which are linked to using fidget spinners.

It was found in this review that claims of the manufacturers that“using fidget spinner is a helpful tool for the people with ADD, autism, anxiety and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” is scientifically unfounded. Additional to the safety warning and health hazards, this analysis emphasizes the lack of supporting evidence about using the fidget spinner.


Fidget spinner is one of the most widely used toys around the globe.

According to them fidget spinner can increase the attention span of individuals suffering from autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Fidget spinner has rather been included in a list of 10 most harming toys by World against toys Causing Harm NGO. 

FAQs about Fidget Spinner Autism

What is the purpose of fidget spinners?

The purpose of promoting and manufacturing the fidget spinner was described as they are helpful for the people who found it difficult to be concentrated or some people may also feel the need for fidget spinner to relieve nervous energies, anxiety, and mental stress.

Is fidget spinner dangerous?

The reports have revealed that if the batteries of the fidget spinners are swallowed they may give rise to burns to the esophagus and intestine.

The central cover can be easily detached, which could also cause choking if ingested.

Are fidget spinners good for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Generally for the people who are suffering from anxiety, fidget spinners may give a soothing experience to them or a person who is suffering from autism who experiences a nervous reaction.

For the people who are suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder “the tedious acts of spinning the toys may help these people with ADHD from feeling like they want to jump out of their chairs”.

How do fidget spinners help with autism?

There are no doubts about accepting the fact that those toys which enable children to fidget can be beneficial for the children suffering from autism.

Sensory toys are used by occupational therapists such as tactile discs, koosh balls, and also putties or clays for giving the children a soothing experience that has issues with sensory processing.


Duggan (2017). What kids don’t want their parents to know about fidget spinners. Retrieved from: Some fidget spinners dangerous for users

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