Sometimes it’s hard for kids to focus in school. When kiddos get the squirmies and the wiggles, it makes it difficult for them to focus on the material at hand. Since there has been a recent rise in adaptive and inclusive classrooms for special needs children, there are a lot of items available on the market nowadays to help kids fidget to focus.
Many children with ASD, SPD, ADHD, or ADD report that fidgeting helps them listen and focus better. Fidgeting in the classroom is a type of self-stimulatory behavior, otherwise known as stimming.
Stimming, in short, is a form of self-stimulation that individuals with special needs sometimes engage in to calm them down, help them focus, or display frustration. For a lot of kiddos, there are a multitude of ways to help calm and fulfill their stims. If you want to know more about stimming, click here.
Without further ado, here are three different discreet, in-classroom items that can help students stim.
Oral motor chewies help kids who chew on everything. Chewies are made of durable silicone and can be easily cleaned, which is great. Plus, you can just pop a chewie on the end of a pencil so the kiddo can refrain from gnawing on their writing tools in class. Chewies keep shirt collars out of mouths and pencils free of bite marks, as well as provide an oral motor stim for the user.
Active Seating Options
Active seating options are a great way to help fidgety kids pay attention in class. For a lot of kiddos with ASD, it can be hard to sit still. For a lot of kiddos, fidgeting can help them focus by turning down the background noise in their brain, so to speak, and helps them focus on the material at hand.
If you want an in-depth guide about what’s up with active seating, check out this article.
Fidget toys are a handheld tool for kiddos that need to subtly stim in class. Fidgets don’t begin and end with spinners, thankfully. There are also fidget cubes, mini gamer fidgets that look like video game controllers, and even little pencil toppers. Whether it’s a handheld fidget to help kids focus when a teacher is lecturing, or a pencil topper fidget for a discreet spin during test-taking times, fidgets are fun option for kids that need a little extra sensory input.
Remember that inviting these types of items in your classroom can be a huge help if the proper parameters are set. For example, it might be a smart idea if a teacher sets up times and places for children to access the items that help them stim and use them in the classroom. Of course, it might also be a good idea to communicate that these items are not toys, but rather tools for attention and should be treated accordingly.