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The Benefits of Using Fidgets

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My Autistic Son and I
The Benefit of Fidgets

Guest post by Ilana Dannaman from Fun and Function. 

I fidget. My kids fidget. I frequently catch my dog fidgeting. We all tend to fidget. Fidgeting, for most of us, acts as a filter, helping us process incoming sensory information. There have been some assumptions that, for example, individuals with Autism may have neuroreceptors that are closer together and thus have a harder time filtering sensory information (sights, sounds, taste, texture, smell) and so they use fidgeting to cope.

Fidgeting is like micro exercise and helps us to process information more efficientlyToday you can find many fidgets that can double as a chewy, fine motor trainer and teacher.

When selecting a fidget, let your kids help you. They know what their sensory preferences are. Look at the age level. Try to keep a backup fidget around the house, in your purse, car and backpack for times when your child may need a filter to reduce stress or help him concentrate. Lets take a look at some of my favorite fidgets:

  • Spaghetti Fidget. I love this fidget for its color, smooth texture and fidget appeal. Plus you can hang this fidget on a shirt, loop, backpack or purse for easy access. Chew it, braid it and play with it all day long!
  • Thingamajig. Stretch it, chewy on it and make it into pretend eyeglasses. Its name is appealing. That’s for sure. Its unique design makes it a first for kids to pick up. Plus you get 2 fidgets in this pack and one has a hook for attaching to you clothes. I love watching kids try to “figure” this fidget out and create their own unique configurations with it boosting their brain power and finger control at the same time.
  • Chewy Fidget Coil. Look, see and feel. It’s slightly swishy, making a cool noise when you shake it and it can be used as a chewy. Kids love to wrap it around their arms and hands so it provides unique pressure and texture. Watch it jiggle and wiggle too!
  • Marble Maze. One of my favorite fidgets as it requires focus and concentration. Follow the marble with your finger along the soft furry maze track and repeat over and over and over again.
  • Anemone Sensory Mittens. It’s like real life sea animal, but they’re on your hands. Kids love the feel of the “hair” and they are so soft, you will want a pair yourself. Rub against the skin for tactile integration or let your kids pretend. Keeps fidgeting fingers where they belong.
  • Fidget Balls. I mean, who can resist. Three balls, each with a different feel, color and weight. Use them for eye-hand coordination, learn to juggle, hide and find or stress release. They are a great therapy motivator and reward toy as well.
  • Pinch Worm. Match up the coils with their colors, or choose complimentary colors. Push the different sized coils through the colored webbing for an awesome fine motor training tool that engages individuals of all ages.

Thank you to Ilana for her guest post on The Benefits of Using Fidgets!

Ilana Danneman is a physical therapist, blogger, author, product video creator and product developer. She can be reached at idanneman@funandfunction.com

***All links in this post go directly to Fun and Function. I receive no compensation for any links or purchases.

Need Shopping ideas for your teenager? Check out our BEST SENSORY GIFTS for TEENAGERS LIST!