GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Fidget toys are a classroom staple for kids with autism. But the small devices are gaining popularity in mainstream schools and even in the workplace.

Both kids and adults are using spinners, cubes or putty to improve active listening and boost concentration.

Head of School Wyayn Rasmussen from Academy of Whole Learning says it’s important to find the right fidget to meet your sensory needs. Rasmussen’s background as an occupational therapist has shown her that fidgets can help people calm down, de-stress and channel their energy in a productive way.

Academy of Whole Learning in St. Louis Park is the only private school in Minnesota specifically designed for students with autism, and nearly every student uses some sort of fidget. Students with autism often have a lot going on in their minds; the same can be said for a child with ADHD or even a busy parent at work. A fidget can help bring focus to the one task at hand.

If you find yourself doodling, clicking your pen, tapping your foot, jiggling change in your pocket or taking extra breaks at work, Rasmussen says you may want to use a fidget. Try some of the different types at home, at school, at work or even while waiting at the doctor’s office to decide which fidget will work best for you or your kids.