I am a happy new owner of a fidget spinner and a fidget cube. (I’d post pictures, but I think we all know what they look like at this point, they’re everywhere right now.)
The two sometimes allow me to sit and watch TV or Youtube without incorporating another activity. Coming from me, the Queen of multiple sources of stimulation, this is quite a marvel.
(It really is a problem. I’ll have the TV, music, my laptop, and my cell phone all engaged in different things simultaneously, muting the TV when it gets to commercials and playing music or a Youtube video to cover until the show returns.)
Sometimes they don’t fully distract me, but the quiet whirls of my little green toys are still quite calming. They also seem to have granted me the ability to have long conversations without nerves or boredom sending me off into babbling tangents.
Something that is especially detrimental about living with anxiety (and C-PTSD) is that being comfortable is very difficult.
Humans can go into a state of hyper awareness in the face of danger. Senses sharper, adrenaline pumping, heartbeat always in your ears. but I can be that way almost constantly.
This, to put it mildly, is exhausting. We are not meant to have our senses on high alert at all times. It puts a massive amount of stress on our bodies.
So I am usually hyper aware or restless, which makes even things that are meant to be relaxing difficult to enjoy.
It seems that many neurotypical people find them distracting, or don’t know what to do with them, or think that kids are going to start throwing them at each other, or not paying attention because of them.
First off, if a child is using it to distract themselves, I’d bet that said child was already not paying much attention, it’s just another way.
Second, if they are using it as a focus tool, fidget toys are easily used one handed, and you can keep it in your non-dominant hand and take notes with the other. I’ve done it, it’s not hard. And for listening to, say, a lecture? It’s like magic.
Third, a neurotypical person might have to pay more attention to a fidget toy-I don’t know. For me personally, it’s like bleeding off the constantly flurries of my brain ricocheting around, and giving that something to play with while the rest of me actually gets things done. So I’m hoping that schools don’t ban their use, because I would have benefited immensely from having one in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as college.
And if some neurotypical kids want to play too? Sure, why not?
Let’s normalize them, more fun and relief for everyone! My mother has one so that she doesn’t doodle during meetings, kids fiddle with them as they walk-hey, less cell phone use while crossing the street
They’re great desk toys too!
Let’s have them for use during interviews!
Pay no attention to the fidget cube in my hands, listen to the coherent and clever answers coming from my mouth!