Current Research

Abstract

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterized by a variety of symptoms that work together to cause educational and social difficulties in patients. Symptoms include impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. In the United States alone, 11% of children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, which is about 6.4 million children. Many of the students diagnosed with ADHD have symptoms such as fidgeting and often lose focus throughout the day. Fidgeting is a natural coping mechanism the body employs to promote a natural stimulant release, enabling the mind to concentrate on particular tasks. Encouraging fidgeting in the classroom has been found to improve focus. Previous research has shown that the brain’s default network appears to establish a baseline of cognitive function, engaged in times of boredom, impatience, and indecision. This research hypothesizes that adolescents with ADHD will show an increase in attention and focus during school and home tasks when a fidget tool is provided. The increased attention will minimize distractions thus allowing the student to meet their full academic potential. In this study, a total of 50 adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18 were selected. Participants were tested three different times using various subtests from the “CogniFit” cognitive skills assessment. The adolescents were studied on multiple days with and without the use of a fidget tool in order to analyze how various cognitive domains were altered. This research anticipated that fidget tools would allow an adolescent with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to focus better on the task at hand. Results show that there is a significant increase in sustained attention and in other cognitive domains in adolescents with and without Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on days in which a fidget tool was provided.