Kansas City doctors weigh in on helpfulness of fidget spinner to - KCTV5

Kansas City doctors weigh in on helpfulness of fidget spinner toy

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Dr. Allan says she would recommend against buying one for a child with ADHD or autism. (KCTV5) Dr. Allan says she would recommend against buying one for a child with ADHD or autism. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Everywhere people look they see them in the hands of children. And for those who have kids, there's a good chance that they have forked over money for a fidget spinner.  

The toy is also often marketed as a great way to get a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or autism to focus.

KCTV5 spoke to doctors in the Kansas City area to find out the truth behind the claims. 

Fidget spinners are all the rage right now and have likely been confiscated by many a teacher or frustrated parent.

The spinning toys are also often marketed as a way to help children with ADHD or on the autism spectrum focus and stop fidgeting by releasing nervous energy or stress.

Some doctors do agree they are helpful, but not clinical.

“Almost every day I'm being asked about fidget spinners,” Dr. Carla Allan said.

Dr. Allan is the Director of Psychological Services at Children's Mercy Hospital's ADHD Specialty Clinic. She says the idea that the toy could help a child with ADHD or autism is, at best, unproven. And at worst, a marketing tactic to prey on vulnerable families.

The doctor also says she would recommend against buying one for a child with ADHD or autism.

“If anything, for these children, we want them to be plugged into social interaction, and these toys are more likely to make it easier for them to tune out,” Allan said.

Allan says parents may be buying a toy that makes their child fidget in a different way, which is just as distracting as any other toy.

In the end, parents who want to buy their child a fidget spinner as a toy should go for it. The toys seem to be good for occupying attention and many parents agree, it beats children staring at a screen. But doctors say they are not therapeutic tools.

Doctor do say there is some good news.

Now, more than ever, there is much to be hopeful about when it comes to treatments and therapies for children on the spectrum.

For resources about these treatments and therapies, click here.

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