ADHD and learning

The recent publicity around the blanket ban on fidget cubes and spinners to help in class at some schools has caused me to send a silent wave of sympathy to anyone who knows a learner with ADHD. Or in fact any young person who is fabulously wriggly for no particular reason in every given environment (but particularly the classroom).

The fidget cubes and spinners were designed to enable an outlet for restlessness (or boredom) which is often a side effect of ADHD. But the resultant ‘craze’ of these amongst school children, and subsequent ban, has been rather detrimental to those 6% of pupils who could really benefit from using them.

In January 2017 I wrote a blog An ADHD Agony – Fidgeting in Class which gave a short scenario of a real-life pupil who needs to fidget.

Research has shown that people who display signs of ADHD can concentrate better when they’re allowed to fidget [Hartanto et al 2015]. So it seems sensible to continue to find ways to ensure these needs are met in class.

As with all things, forbidding them just makes them more attractive and increases the desire to push against the ban. So how will teachers and other classroom staff ensure that their pupils with a need to fidget can find other ways to do that?