|This fidget would do more to distract me |
than to help me focus.
- The term "stimming" is short for self-stimulatory behavior and is sometimes also called "stereotypic" behavior. In a person with autism, stimming usually refers to specific behaviors that include hand- flapping, rocking, spinning, or .
https://www.verywell.com/what-is-stimming-in-autism-260034, May 14, 2017
Third, treatment guidelines for many disorders include the following recommendations.
The difference between "nuisance items" and "calming manipulatives" above really comes down to how the items are used.
|Noisy-if poor quality|
often takes 2-hands
has a tendency to fly on its own
Fidgets in my classroom need to be:
- Personal-They are not for showing off to others. Students are not to be getting others attention to show them their latest fidget trick.
- Quiet-Noisy fidgets can be distracting to others. If another student is annoyed by the sound a fidget makes, the student needs to switch to a less noisy fidget.
- One-handed-Students need to be able to operate their fidget with one hand. It is impossible for students to attend to most educational task without using their hands. Students need to have one hand available for participating in discussions, taking notes, using their mobile device, etc.
- An Improvement to Their Focus-With the intent of the fidget being to improve students attention, it should do just that. It should improve a students ability to focus on the discussion, lesson, activity, and assignment that is taking place in the classroom at that moment. It should at least reduce a students need for stimming and allow students to be full participants in their classroom environment.
- When the student is using the fidget to distract others. "Hey, check this out!"
- When the student's attention and focus is on the fidget more than on the classroom learning. Or, when the student's attention and focus to the lesson decreases with the fidget in use. I had a student last week that sat staring at his fidget for several minutes without completing (even looking at) any questions.
- When fidgets fly. Yep, I said it. I've had fidget spinners go spinning right out of students hands and several feet across the room. That is a sure sign that it needs to be put away.
- Please don't react by banning all fidgets when something happens. Banning all fidgets punishes all students. Though I know it is much more difficult, teachers need to deal with fidgets on a case by case basis. Having a clear set of expectations, and a clear, communicated policy concerning fidgets uses and misuse, will allow students that need and can use them effectively to do so.
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