Year of Publication


Date of Thesis


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

Subject Categories

Occupational therapy


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of fidget toys on attention-to­ task and on-task behavior for students with ADHD characteristics in a third-grade classroom. This study also explored the effect of fidget toys on attention-to-task for students without ADHD characteristics. Method: A single subject AB design was used for three students with confirmed attending difficulties or hyperactivity and sensory processing differences. These students were observed by the researcher during baseline and intervention to determine on-task behavior. All students in the class participated in a measure of attention-to-task during baseline and intervention. During baseline, students were engaged in a typical lesson conducted by the classroom teacher. During intervention, all students in the class were provided with a fidget toy to manipulate while engaged in the lesson. Results: Statistical analysis could not be conducted due to significant variability in the students' behavior during baseline. Two of the three students observed displayed a mean decrease in off­ task behavior during intervention. One of these students displayed a mean increase in attention­ to-task. The fidget toys did not affect attention-to-task for the other students in the classroom. Conclusions: Fidget toys may increase on-task behavior and attention-to-task for some students with ADHD characteristics. Fidget toys may not be effective for students who do not display inattention or hyperactive behavior. More research is needed to isolate the characteristics of students who may benefit from fidget toys and to determine the most effective type of fidget toy for these children.



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