Are fidget spinners cutting out or causing distractions?

Some say toy helps kids with autism, ADHD; others say it's classroom distraction

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From the Cabbage Patch Kids to Tickle Me Elmo to hoverboards, there’s always a must-have toy. And now there's a new one in town. 

It’s called the fidget spinner. It’s a simple piece of plastic with ball bearings that spins -- and entrances -- on someone’s finger.

But more and more schools across the country, from Florida to New York, are starting to ban them.

Many say it's a tool that helps children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is known as ADHD, and anxiety by cutting out the distractions.

Fidget spinners have been flying off the shelves at stores. 

"I could see people using it if you have to focus on 20 million things at once and to just try to focus on that one thing," shopper Ri Oken told KSAT 12's sister station News4Jax on Thursday. 

A lot of adults are also calling the toys a form of stress relief. 

"Apparently, last month, they got really cool," said Rob Bell, manager of Five Below in Jacksonville Beach.

Bell said they have more than 4,000 different items in the store, and at just $5, fidget spinners have become the top sellers. Recently, Bell said, people bought 100 of them in just two hours.

"We are getting the supplies in as fast as we can and they are going out the door as fast as we can get them in," Bell said. 

Some people, however, are trying to stop the spinners. KSAT 12's sister station News4Jax has received reports of teachers and school administrators confiscating or banning them because they’re a distraction.  

As of Thursday, school officials checked with in three Florida counties said none of the districts have a policy prohibiting the toys from being on campus.

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.