May 29, 2024 | Neurodiversity

Navigating Neurodiversity with Fidget Items

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Fidgets have become an invaluable tool for people of all ages. Whether a neurodiverse individual navigating the waters of sensory processing, or someone seeking an outlet for restlessness, fidgets help provide focus, comfort, and sensory regulation. Together, let’s explore the world of fidget widgets and discover the benefits (and fun) of these varied gadgets. 

Types of fidgets 

Fidgets are small handheld objects that can be manipulated with the hands. Their use is intended to aid in self-regulation and help people improve their ability to focus and regulate feelings such as boredom, anxiety, and excitement. While often considered used mostly by children, fidgets serve a valuable purpose in the lives of adults as well. 

“Adults with ADHD might find that fidget tools help them maintain focus during meetings, while working, or in social situations where they might otherwise feel restless.”

Medical News Today

There is an endless amount of fidgets available, and often finding the right one means plenty of trial and error. Depending on your unique needs, it is key to find the right one for you. So, let’s chat about the different types of fidget toys: 

  1. Tactile fidgets: these fidgets are designed specifically to help satisfy touch. Examples of these types of fidgets could include fidget spinners, Tangles, stress balls, or putty. These types of tools provide your hands with something satisfying to help you regain focus, minimize anxiety, and provide comfort when needed. 
  2. Visual fidgets: If you find bright colours, lights and/or patterns highly satisfying and calming, visual fidgets might be the right choice. Examples of these include sensory fidget tubes, a sensory aquarium, bubble tube table lamp, or a liquid timer, to name a few. 
  3. Auditory fidgets: would you love a noisy fidget that provides a satisfying dose of auditory feedback (such as clicking, scratching, or scrunching)? Then you should test out some auditory fidgets such as a snap and click fidget, fidget cube, poke and pop fidgets, or a keyboard clicky fidget. 

Based on our experiences and needs, we find Calm Strips to be a good choice, but that might not necessarily be the case for you. They are an excellent option to help combat overstimulation. Some of our other favourites that you might want to check out include: Stimara, Fidget Cubes, and Magnetic Fidget Rings – BunMo.com. Etsy is also another great place to find unique, aesthetically pleasing, and satisfying fidgets for adults.Magnetic Fidget Rings – BunMo.com. Etsy is also another great place to find unique, aesthetically pleasing, and satisfying fidgets for adults. 

Choosing the right fidget  

When choosing a fidget consider these things: 

  • Need: find a toy that feels natural and comforting to you and helps with meeting your specific needs. Does it make you feel calm? Does it help you? Do you feel less anxious when using it? Think about what you are feeling, and what type of tool would help ground you. 
  • Environment: depending on where you will use the fidget plays a role. A fidget you choose in a professional environment, such as a meeting, will likely be different than one you pick when in the comfort of your own home. For example, a quiet fidget is much less disruptive and distracting to others than one that makes noise. 
  • Look and feel: choosing something that is appealing to your eye and satisfying to the touch (think about the texture of the item) is important. Ensure it is something you enjoy using, and one that you find helpful so that you can benefit fully from the item.

Each person will have different needs, and varying preferences. Therefore, what works for one individual might not for another. Keep in mind that these things can also change over time, so be open to trying a variety of fidgets. Good luck and have fun finding the perfect fidget! 

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