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Fidget spinners causing distraction in schools

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A popular new toy, aimed at helping people with ADHD and anxiety, is causing some distraction in schools. You just hold it and spin it. It's said to provide a sense of comfort and peace in stressful situations and help people concentrate.

You can find them for as little as $8.00 at local convenience stores and retailers. EZ Go representatives say they just started selling them 3 weeks ago, and they've already sold more than 10,000.

Both a Lawton principal and a mother agree these fidget spinners have benefits, like calming people or helping those who have attention disorders, but when it comes to taking the toy to school, unless the student has a doctor's note, they say it needs to be put away.

For many years now, Jennifer Young's 12 year old son has been battling severe ADHD. He makes good grades in school, but everyday activities or just sitting still has been hard, until he got a fidget spinner.

"It's a struggle," said Young. "He can't sit still for nothing, so when we got him one, it has actually made him calm down a little bit more. He sits still. He will sit and spin it for hours or if he has to have it at school, put it in his pocket and he will spin it in his pocket. It's actually been amazing. It's calmed him down a lot."

She prefers the spinner over medication or anything else they've tried to help him.

"Chores, cartoons, just anything, books, but he's not a big reader so when he found this it was, ok let's try it, no problem," said Young.

Karen Cooksey, the principal at Pat Henry Elementary says they see a lot of their students with them at school and while they understand the benefits, they still see it as a toy.

Lawton Public Schools have not banned the spinners yet, Instead they leave it up to the teachers to decide if they will allow students to have them in class.

"Some have used it as motivation for students when they finish work they might have a couple minutes to use it others, as long as they don't see them, it's not a big deal," said Cooksey. "It's ok to have them on the playground and things like that."

Young says it helps her son so much, he doesn't want to go a single day without having a spinner and if he loses it, he will do anything to get another one.
She hopes schools and teachers think about the positive impact these have, before they ever decide to ban them.

"I would honestly say that maybe they need to take a step back and see how it's helping the child focus in class because it may be better than medication," said Young. "It may be helping them a lot more as long as that's what they're doing."

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