Are fidget toys helpful for autism?
Fidgets can be fun — but at the same time they can also be important tools, providing relief in stressful situations. This is essential for people with autism, and using fidget toys or tools is often recommended by therapists to decrease anxiety.
How does it work?
Kids with autism have high levels of anxiety, and that makes it difficult for them to focus on their daily tasks. When they have something to fidget with, it helps them keep calm and increases concentration. Fidgeting simulates neural pathways and improves tactile awareness, which is beneficial for kids with sensory issues.
It's a mistake to think that fidget toys can be "distracting" for a child with special needs — in fact, they distract him from feeling worried and stressed, and help self-regulate.
We all fidget at one time or another — it's an easy way to concentrate and it helps us release our nervous energy. But for kids with autism fidgets are even more important — they are proven to benefit the learning process. In addition, using the right fidget toy can improve coordination and fine motor skills.