Local teachers and health officials weigh in on issues with "fidget tools"

Local teachers and health officials weigh in on issues with "fidget tools"

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A nation-wide trend has some teachers and health officials speaking out about the need for "fidget tools."

They've taken kid's hands by storm. These "fidget spinners" and other fidget tools can be seen swinging around fingers, almost anywhere you go.

But their original purpose was for those with autism, anxiety or attention disorders.

"So this could be like wearing compression shirts, or a weighted lap pad, or sitting on an exercise ball, or playing with a little toy or chewing gum, whatever, actually frees the brain to focus. And so children who have ADD are going to focus better when you create and provide stimulation," said Licensed Professional Counselor Elizabeth Clark.

The issue right now is, all students have begun using the tools, turning them into toys rather than a necessity.

"And when they bring them to school, they're just getting in the way of instruction and interrupting the education of them and everyone around them,
 said Paramount Terrace Elementary Principal Pam Camarata. "And so, it's causing some trouble in school. They're so popular right now."

"I think the problem that the school's running into is that children who don't have ADD, they do have the potential to be really distracting. So it's probably very hard to strike a balance there," said Clark.

Some schools around the country have issued full-on bans of the tools. But Paramount Terrace has taken the issue into their own hands, asking parents to come forward if they feel their child needs a fidget tool.

"We want to help kids if they need help. If they need the accommodation of anything, a fidget, or something that will help them concentrate, we're all for that. But we just want to work with parents. We want to be real intentional with it and make sure that it's what the child needs and that they know how to use it correctly and properly," said Camarata. "So I just encourage parents to contact the school if they think there's a need."

AISD tells us this is not district-wide. It is up to individual schools to decide how to handle the craze.

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