Examining the Effectiveness of Fidgets on Attention of Elementary Students with ADHD


Leslie A. Mathews, MA.Ed.

University of Oklahoma


Kimberly J. Osmani, M. Ed.

University of Oklahoma


James E. Martin, Ph.D.

University of Oklahoma

This issue of NASET’s ADHD series is taken from the Fall 2020 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP). Research demonstrates students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other attention difficulties benefit from using tools to expend energy in positive, socially acceptable means while not distracting others. Tactile fidgets may assist with self-regulated behaviors. This study examined the effectiveness of using hand and foot fidgets to increase the focused instructional attention of four elementary students with ADHD. All four participants selected and used their preferred fidget appropriately as directed. ABAB withdrawal design results indicated immediate level and trend change with a 45-55% overall attention gain. Results and implications for future research are discussed.

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