Since I was diagnosed with ADHD in early 2021, much of my life has started to make sense. For example, in college, I began trying to type my lecture notes verbatim. I found I could retain the information better and stay focused on the class rather than feeling fidgety, bored, or losing focus when I did this. Now I know that I “stim,” meaning I move my body repetitively to give myself more stimulation or cope with stress. For example, I tap my foot, chew on a pen lid, or rub my clothes between my fingers (something I’m famous in my family for because it started at two days old).
We all know about fidget spinners, but I have recently discovered a whole world of toys designed to create quiet stimulation for ADHD children and adults in classroom and office settings. It works so well that fidget toys are considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA for people with ADHD.
I bought my first sensory toy for myself when I realized that I tended to look at my phone at stoplights. I knew it was wrong, but sitting there felt claustrophobically boring. So now, when I’m stopped, I play with the toy while keeping my eyes on the road. Try on