Virtual Fidgets

Fidget spinners and cubes exploded in popularity a few years ago. Initially, this was fantastic because it meant that neuro-divergent children (and adults) could incorporate fidgeting and stimming into their lives in a way that was not ridiculed or mocked by those around them. Of course, like with most fads that kids get into, eventually schools began banning fidgets as “distractions.” This backfired because there are kids who focus better when they are permitted to fidget. At this point, many teachers have come to an appropriate balance between minimizing distractions in the classroom but allowing kids with ADHD, Autism, anxiety, or other conditions to move in ways that help them learn.

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I have over a dozen different fidget spinners in my office, not to mention fidget cubes, stress balls, and other sensory items. Since these items are less popular than they were in about 2017, I can give parents recommendations to buy these items for their kids at a fairly low price too.

I’ve talked before about Antistress, an app with several different virtual fidget options. This is one of my favorite therapeutic apps, but like most apps, there is not a version that can be used on a laptop or desktop computer. Kids can use physical fidgets during telehealth sessions, but some kids engage better in a telehealth session if I can keep their focus on the screen rather than on a physical item in their home.

Virtual fidget spinners are available here and here. A virtual fidget cube is available here. And this website has a variety of virtual fireworks games, which are great both for fidgets and for a visual sensory intervention.

What virtual fidgets have you used in your telehealth sessions?

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.