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The small, spinning toys known as fidget spinners are popping up in playgrounds and classrooms everywhere. Not only are they fun, but many manufacturers also advertise them as useful tools for reducing anxiety and improving attention.

Paulo Graziano started paying attention to these advertisements when his own daughter became interested in the toy. Scientists had yet to test the claim that fidget spinners improve concentration in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), so Graziano, a child psychologist at the Center for Children and Families, set up a study with his colleagues to find out if it was true.

The systematic study examined whether fidget spinners can actually help kids with attention in a classroom environment. They worked with young kids with ADHD between the ages of five and seven and recorded them to observe their behavior during a lesson.

Read the surprising facts in this first person piece by Dr. Graziano.