Because she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), learning disabilities, and other comorbid conditions, I'm always on the lookout for interesting fidget objects, or "fidgets" that will boost my daughter Natalie's focus at school. Not any old fidget will work, however. Good fidgets are:
- Silent: Your child won't get shushed for disturbing the class.
- Unobtrusive: ADD/ADHD children don't want to draw attention to themselves; fidgets should fit in a fist.
- Tactile (not visual): Fidgets shouldn't draw restless eyes away from the teacher.
- Safe: Kids can choke on small items; some stretchy fidgets sting when they snap.
- Tools (not toys): Balls shouldn't bounce, for instance -- too distracting.
- Inexpensive: They're likely to be lost (like their lunch bags).
- Teacher-approved: Consult the teacher before sending in new items.
The three fidgets below work well for Natalie:
- Fidgeting Finger Springs. Note: They may pose a choking hazard for smaller children.
- Sand-filled balloon. Make this fidget together. Put one small balloon inside another and pour in sand through a funnel until the balloon is full.
More on Fidgeting and ADD/ADHD Children
When ADD/ADHD Children Fidget: Better Focus Through Multitasking
Distracted While Studying? 6 Tips to Fight Distractions and Get Homework Done!
Fidgets to Help ADD/ADHD Children Focus at School
More Fidgets for ADD/ADHD Children
Follow Kay and Natalie on Kay's ADHD Parenting Blog.
This article appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of ADDitude. SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.
What helps your ADHD child focus in the classroom? Share with others in the ADHD at School support group on ADDConnect.