How Sensory Fidgets Can Support Individuals With ADHD

sensory fidgets

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults. Difficulties with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity characterize it. People with ADHD often struggle to focus on tasks, stay organized, and control their impulses.

One of the ways to manage ADHD symptoms is through the use of sensory fidgets. Sensory fidgets are objects or toys that provide tactile, visual, or auditory stimulation. They range from stress balls and weighted blankets to fidget spinners and chewy necklaces.

How Sensory Fidgets Help with ADHD

Sensory fidgets are effective in helping individuals with ADHD in several ways. This includes:

Improving Focus and Attention

One of the main symptoms of ADHD is difficulty with focus and attention. Sensory fidgets provide an outlet for individuals, allowing them to release excess energy and improve their ability to stay engaged in tasks.

Reducing Hyperactivity

People with ADHD often struggle with hyperactivity, which can be disruptive and make it difficult for them to sit still. Fidgeting with sensory objects can provide a healthy outlet for this excess energy and reduce hyperactive behaviors.

Managing Impulsivity

Impulsivity is another common symptom of ADHD, which can lead to impulsive actions and decision-making. Sensory fidgets can help individuals with ADHD to redirect their impulses toward the fidget object instead of acting impulsively in other ways.

Enhancing Emotional Regulation

ADHD can also lead to emotional dysregulation, creating challenges in managing feelings and responses. Sensory fidgets can act as a calming tool that aids in emotional regulation.

By focusing on the tactile sensation of the fidget, individuals can distract their minds from overwhelming emotions, promote a sense of calm and balance, and reduce anxiety.

Encouraging Mindfulness

Mindfulness, focusing on the present moment, can be particularly beneficial for individuals with ADHD. Sensory fidgets can help cultivate mindfulness by channeling the user’s focus onto the physical sensation of the fidget toy. Refocused attention can alleviate feelings of restlessness and help ground the individual in the present moment.

Supporting Academic Performance

For students with ADHD, sensory fidgets can be a valuable tool for improving academic performance. By providing a tactile focus point, fidget toys can help students concentrate during lessons, improve information retention, and contribute to better overall educational outcomes.

Types of Sensory Fidgets

Many types of sensory fidgets are available, and what works for one person might not work for another. Here are some popular options to consider:

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are small, handheld toys with a center bearing, allowing users to spin it between their fingers. They come in various designs, colors, and materials, providing tactile and visual stimulation.

Fidget Slider

fidget slider is compact and has multiple buttons, switches, and dials that can be manipulated for sensory input. They provide tactile, visual, and auditory stimulation.

Stress Balls

Stress balls are small, squishy objects that can fit in one’s hand and provide a soft tactile sensation when squeezed or manipulated. They come in various materials and designs.

Chewable Necklaces

Chewable necklaces are designed to provide sensory input through chewing. They come in various textures and are made from safe, non-toxic materials.

Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets provide deep-pressure stimulation. This can be soothing for individuals with ADHD. They come in various sizes and weights and can be used at home or on the go.

Putty or Slime

Putty and slime provide a unique tactile experience as they can be stretched, squeezed, and molded. They come in various textures, colors, and scents for sensory variety.

Choosing the Right Sensory Fidget

Choosing the right sensory fidget is vital to ensuring the best results. Not all fidgets work the same for everyone, and what may work for one person might not work for another. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a sensory fidget:

Personal Preferences

Every individual with ADHD has a unique set of needs, preferences, and comfort levels. Some might prefer tactile fidgets like stress balls or putty, while others might find visual or auditory fidgets more soothing. Choosing a fidget that aligns with the individual’s preferences is essential.

Sensory Needs

Individuals with ADHD may have different sensory needs, and it’s crucial to consider this when selecting a fidget. Some individuals may require more intense sensory input, while others prefer something gentler. Experimenting with different types of fidgets is essential to finding the right fit for one’s sensory needs.


Fidgets are designed to be manipulated regularly. It’s essential to consider their durability.

You want to choose a fidget that can withstand regular use without quickly wearing out or breaking. High-quality materials tend to be more durable and less likely to break, ensuring that the individual can use the fidget for longer.


Consider the size and ease of transportation of the fidget. If the individual needs to use the fidget, choosing a more portable option might be beneficial. Compact fidgets can easily fit into a pocket or a bag, making them easy to carry around.


The price of sensory fidgets can vary widely depending on the type, the brand, and the quality. It’s essential to choose a fidget that fits within your budget. However, be careful not to compromise quality for cost.

Investing in a slightly pricier but higher-quality fidget will last longer. It provides better sensory feedback, which might be worth investing in.


Safety is paramount when choosing a sensory fidget, especially for children with ADHD. Ensure the fidget does not have small parts that could be a choking hazard, is non-toxic, and does not have sharp edges that could cause injury. Age is highly recommend when choosing the product and reading reviews to ensure the product is safe and suitable for the intended user.

Trial and Error

It’s crucial to remember that finding the right sensory fidget might involve some trial and error. It’s normal if the first few fidgets you try don’t work out as expected.

Continue trying different types until you find one that meets the individual’s sensory needs. Patience and perseverance go a long way in finding the right fit.

Knowing About Sensory Fidgets

Sensory fidgets are an effective way to manage ADHD symptoms. This can improve focus and regulate emotions. Choosing the right sensory fidget involves considering personal preferences.

With so many options available, there is sure to be a perfect fit for every individual with ADHD. Incorporating sensory fidgets into daily routines can significantly benefit individuals with ADHD.

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