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


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.

Keywords: attention, focus, fidgets, ADHD, elementary students

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