This season's hottest toy is marketed as an antidote for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , anxiety and autism — but it's also being banned in classrooms across the country. The momentum of the toy provides a pleasing sensory experience, according to user reviews, while the challenge of tossing, transferring and twirling the spinners has spawned an entire universe of instructional YouTube videos.

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It's All About the Physics ]. Many spinners are marketed as aides for individuals with anxiety , autism and ADHD; Cppslee's spinner marketing patter on Amazon, for example, promises greater concentration for people with those conditions, plus an opportunity to "bring out that creative genius lying deep within you. Scientists decided to find out whether there was any basis to these claims made by manufacturers.

In a review of relevant literature published July 7, , in the journal Current Opinion in Pediatrics , scientists including Dr. Ruth Milanaik, director of the neonatal follow-up program at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, found that no research had specifically focused on the link between these spinners and kids' attention. Not only that, but there were no peer-reviewed studies at all on fidget spinners , they said.

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With this lack of research, manufacturers' claims about the usefulness of fidget spinners are baseless, the authors concluded. The so-called fidget cube — which is a plastic cube equipped with various buttons and dials for fidgeting hands — may be more classroom friendly, according to a scientist who studies intersection of human computer interaction and games, who pointed out on the website The Conversation that the cube doesn't require visual attention.

Regardless of their usefulness in keeping kids' distracted brains focused, fidget spinners have sparked a conversation about attention spans in kids and how to help the little ones focus, experts told Live Science.

There are various methods for bringing kids' focus back to the lesson at hand, psychologists say, including fidgeting devices, activity breaks and the simple removal of extra distractions. The devices may also teach kids something about physics , or at least ball bearings. Fidget spinners emerged this spring, seemingly from out of nowhere, as a must-have gadget. Before December , Google searches for the words "fidget spinner" were basically nonexistent. Using hand spinners can also be useful in breaking habits, such as nail biting, smoking, leg shaking and fidgeting.

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A picture or description looks wrong. She says the kids that come in to her store are drawn to the different colors and patterns. Some spinners are made of smooth silicone parts, others aluminum, and other plastic ones are adorned with emojis and tie dye.

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Youtube videos of spinner tricks and hacks have racked up millions of views since the toys got popular. Spinners might be new to the must-have toy aisle, but they've been a tool for teachers, guidance counselors and therapists for a while now. Taylor-Klaus is the co-founder of ImpactADHD, a coaching service for children with attention disorders and their parents. If you've ever watched people tap pencils, twist pieces of paper or even doodle in meetings, you've seen the power of fidgeting in action. Some schools ban fidget spinners Of course, if there's something more interesting that a good toy fad, it's a good toy fad that's also kind of controversial.

Stories from all over the country -- and the world -- have been cropping up that this school or that school have banned fidget spinners from classrooms. It's true, some have, but it's largely been a case-by-case basis, and it's usually because the toys themselves have become a distraction. One story out of Australia claims a school in Shepparton banned them after a wayward spinner injured a boy's eye.

Schools around the US and UK are posting warnings on social media and sending notes home to parents discouraging their use.

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In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Taylor-Klaus says she understands how the spinners can cause a problem. To the uninitiated or the adult , toy fads can be a complete mystery. There are claims that a fidget spinner can help calm down people who have anxiety and other neurological disorders like ADHD and autism. Pattern Polka Dot 1. It's what happens when they move from tool to toy.

Taylor-Klaus says she understands how the spinners can cause a problem. It's what happens when they move from tool to toy.

But still, not allowing them in schools is probably throwing the baby out with the bath water," she says. Natalie Jones of Huntsville, Alabama, has three children and her eldest, year-old Alex, is into fidget spinners.