Fidgeting with a small toy or other item in the hand can improve a unique learner’s ability to listen. A small portion of resistive putty can be considered a working toy and is used by unique learners in order to apply their brain to the task at hand. These items must not be considered toys. It is offered as a strategy to stay focused and never offered as a reward or removed as a punishment. Fidgets are usually small devices that do not interrupt other students during classroom lessons. The stimulation through the tactile senses helps to modulate and improve learning readiness. By using a fidget or some quiet desktop manipulative object, unique learners will be able to organize their brains and perform without the negative effect on others (excessive wiggling or excessive talking).

Fidgets that I refer to as “working toys” should be age-appropriate and small. A palm-sized finger exercise device that is designed for guitar players can be an excellent fidget for a high school or college-age student. Adults seem to do best with items that fit in their pocket, such as a single marble. Younger children may enjoy an animal-shaped small squish device. The device must have appeal to the user but not be so enjoyable that other students become distracted from their own work.


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