The fidget spinner still serves a purpose

Healthwise: The useful fidget spinner

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Have you ever heard the phrase “sensory overload?” That is a real issue that can trigger all sorts of problems in children, even tantrums.

Cynthia Tiongco is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

She says there are lots of clues that a child is struggling with too much *clutter in the brain." She explains when it’s a good time to get help, “If it’s really affecting life. Their child is an exceptionally picky eater. Their child is getting dressed in the morning and it’s an absolute nightmare because the child is trying on so many clothes or won’t wear clothes, won’t play in the sandbox, won’t slide down the slide, having huge meltdowns at the mall, or around a lot of people. That’s when you might want to seek out an occupational therapist for sensory processing.”

Cynthia says if you think your child may have a sensory processing disorder, there are many tools that can help kids clean out the clutter, even a fidget spinner. She says "There are probably kids who are still using it and using it appropriately.” She says we all tried it during the spinner craze, but there are some kids who still use it effectively to help them ride in the car or concentrate on something. But, she adds, there are many ways to help a child de-clutter the brain and focus on what’s important.

She says instead of growing out of a sensory overload, many people simply learn the techniques they need to deal with it. If you think your child is having trouble processing too many things in the environment, even noise or bright light, Cynthia says tell your pediatrician first. Then, you can decide together if the problem is reason enough to seek help from an occupational therapist.

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