Look past the behavior and see your child for who they are: a loving child you gave birth to. -Dr. Hokehe Effiong

130: Practical Solutions for Symptoms of ADHD with Dr. Hokehe Effiong

How about a board-certified pediatrician who Googled an answer for a struggling family, and opened up a whole new world of information and training for herself?

Dr. Hokehe Effiong helps families struggling with symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity to avoid the ADHD label, see the potential in their children, dig down to the root cause(s), and truly thrive at school and at home.

You’ll love Dr. Effiong’s stories and passion to help kids reach their potential, often without prescription medications.

In this very timely interview for me all about kids with ADHD symptoms, you’ll learn:

  • What 2 assessments need to sync up in order for a child to be diagnosed with ADHD
  • What questions parents should ask their pediatrician if they receive a new ADHD diagnosis
  • Some of the incredibly diverse possible root causes for ADHD (which those prescriptions won’t touch) and the most common root cause she sees in her practice
  •  Some simple – you won’t believe how simple! – solutions to that most common root cause
  • Whether ADHD is a parenting problem or not
  • First steps Dr. Effiong recommends to parents, ONE step at a time, to begin to support their child’s mind and body and reduce the symptoms of ADHD
  • Hot tips for cooking together with an impulsive or distracted child

Following Dr. Effiong’s tips will truly help ANY family thrive together, build true connection, and be confident in managing behavior and seeing the best in their kids — but families struggling with ADHD will be powerfully changed by this interview.

Can’t see the video? Watch Symptoms of ADHD here on YouTube!

No time for the video? Here are the notes!

Symptoms of ADHD With Dr. Hokehe Effiong

  • 0:16: Today I’m talking to Dr. Hokehe Effiong about attention issues such as ADHD. She is a pediatrician who helps kids with attention difficulties. She is committed to getting to the root cause rather than reaching for a prescription pad first. She also runs a non-profit for kids in the foster care system to bring love, hope, and dignity.

Paleovalley Meat Sticks

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein-packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:

100% grass fed beef sticks, pasture raised beef sticks

  • 100% Grass-Fed Beef & 100% Pasture-Raised Turkey
  • Never given antibiotics or hormones
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
  • 0 grams of sugar*
  • Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
  • Non-GMO
  • Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!

*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.

These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.

Use this link to get 15% off your order at Paleovalley. Read my Paleovalley Review to learn more!

  • 2:36: Dr. Effiong shares her background with us and how she came to focus on ADHD. When she was 17, a doctor told her she would never make it through med school! 😮

Medications don’t solve the root of the problem. -Dr. Hokehe Effiong

  • 6:35: The statistics on ADHD diagnosis are on a sharp increase in recent years.
  • 7:37: I recently realized that we didn’t have any healthy parenting connector episodes about ADHD or attention issues! We’re going to remedy that today.

Identifying Symptoms of ADHD

  • 8:12: We start at the beginning. How do you know if you need to request an evaluation for ADHD? The main symptoms you will notice are inattention, hyperactivity, spaciness, and impulsivity. It’s a myth that girls don’t have ADHD. The critical information to know is whether the behavior happens everywhere or just in one place. For example, does the child exhibit symptoms at home, school, and the friend’s house or only at home?
  • 10:33: I’ve noticed that Dr. Effiong uses language like “ADHD symptoms” or “struggles with inattention or hyperactivity.” She is careful not to label kids.
  • 11:11: ADHD is a brain-based disorder. Someone who has ADHD will have different brain waves and their brain functions differently.

“Mooooom, I’m hungry!!”

How many times do your kids ask for snacks each day? Wouldn’t it be a relief if they were empowered to prepared their own snacks, instead of coming to you and whining about how hungry they are?

Download and print:

SNACK RECIPES KIDS CAN MAKE

  • 11:38: Dr. Effiong doesn’t like to just label kids without looking more into what causes their behaviors. Sometimes, it isn’t ADHD at all, but something else causing symptoms that look like ADHD.
  • 12:22: If you have a new ADHD diagnosis for your child listen in here. We go over questions you should ask your doctor when you’re considering medication.

Possible Root Causes of Symptoms of ADHD

  • 15:03: Dr. Effiong tells more about her process when a new child enters her practice by telling an alarming story. Medication is not her first step. She digs deeper to get to the root of the issue to see if medication is appropriate. Mold exposure or heavy metal poisoning are possible explanations for behavioral issues as well.
  • 17:43: Trauma is a big trigger for behavioral and inattention as well. Dr. Effiong shares a story about a little boy who was in the foster care system and lived in 17 different homes in 6 months! The instability and trauma during that time were his inattention trigger. Listen to this interview about helping kids process trauma for more.

ADHD and trauma can look so similar, you have to ask deeper questions. -Dr. Hokehe Effiong

  • 20:20: These two stories Dr. Effiong just told both had kids with similar symptoms, the parents and teachers all thought it was ADHD, but one case was environmental toxins and one was emotional trauma. There are dozens of other potential causes of attention issues.
  • 21:53: If you are trying to help your child thrive through hyperactivity or inattention, listen in for some tips to get started. It all starts with you.

It’s easy to focus on the disruption of a child bouncing around, not listening, but remember your child is trying, they just need extra help. -Dr. Hokehe Effiong

Natural Support for Attention

  • 23:35: Let’s get into some natural ways to support kids with attention difficulties.
  • 24:08: Nutrition is very important since your gut and your brain are connected. Many children with ADHD symptoms are constipated which means they are not detoxing effectively. Find out how gut health can be a clue to overall health here.

What you put in your tummy affects your brain. -Dr. Hokehe Effiong

  • 25:34: Dr. Effiong shares how she encourages her clients to drink more water.
  • 25:50: Magnesium is a very important supplement to consider if your child is constipated and has attention challenges. Find out more about kids and magnesium here.
  • 26:30: It’s a slow process. You can’t overhaul your child’s diet overnight and expect it to last in most cases. I’m all about taking baby steps to see lasting change in your family! Here’s a whole interview about why you may want to cut out dairy
  • 26:40: It works much better when the entire family embraces healthy eating and strives to make changes together.

Stay safe in the sun, with reef-safe sunscreens

Over the last decade+, I’ve personally tested over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, my standards are very high, and nothing I recommend is considered dangerous to coral reefs.

My top recommended tier with only around a dozen winners is where you really should be spending your time. These formulas are held to the highest standard with rigorous government testing.

Ingredients refined to perfection that most of the time you could practically eat and efficacy and performance tested by the Kimball family in the field.

Find all my reviews of safe sunscreen that works here!

If you’re looking for the best reef-safe sunscreen, simply start there. Here’s a list of some of my ultimate favorites.

  • Kōkua Suncare with tons of antioxidants and my kids’ favorite scent and application (use the code KS for 15% off from Kōkua’s online store!)
  • 3rd Rock Essentials rubs in well and reliably prevents burns in our tests (use the code KITCHENSTEW for 20% off!)
  • Raw Elements for so many reasons, including their tinted stick for adult faces (all styles, use KS10 for 10% off!)
  • Maelove, which I call the best “transition” sunscreen when moving away from chemical ‘screens
  • Others that make the top-recommended cut: Badger, ThinkBaby, Adorable Baby, Kabana

If you’re worried about the white cast on your skin from zinc oxide sunscreen, check out my video on how to apply mineral sunscreen correctly to minimize it.

  • 27:46: Sleep is actually a really common root cause of ADHD-like symptoms. The importance of sleep really can’t be overstated! In fact, Dr. Effiong says ADHD could almost be considered a sleep disorder. You might be surprised when you hear how simple the fix often is. Here are some more sleep tips.

Magic happens when our bedrooms are just for sleeping. No phones, no TVs in there! -Dr. Hokehe Effiong

  • 30:16: We hear as adults that we should do work or use our phones in our beds. The culture does not support healthy sleep! I’ve done several interviews on sleep. Here’s one about healthy sleep for parents, sleeping habits for the whole family, and sleep coaching for gentle parenting.
  • 31:30: Of course, I love to teach kids to cook. I’ve seen many kids with behavior issues or who are on the autism spectrum really thrive in the kitchen. We give you some really practical tips to involve your ADHD kids in the kitchen to build confidence. I love this part!

Paleovalley Meat Sticks

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein-packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:

100% grass fed beef sticks, pasture raised beef sticks

  • 100% Grass-Fed Beef & 100% Pasture-Raised Turkey
  • Never given antibiotics or hormones
  • Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
  • 0 grams of sugar*
  • Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
  • Non-GMO
  • Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!

*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.

These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.

Use this link to get 15% off your order at Paleovalley. Read my Paleovalley Review to learn more!

  • 35:03: Dr. Effiong tells her 3-year old that blueberries are God’s candy! That’s so sweet!
  • 35:24: I love the strategy of covering up the parts of the recipe you aren’t using. The Plan to Eat app and Real Plans let you swipe one step at a time through the instructions. Our energy bites recipe sounds like a perfect recipe for hyperactive kids who need something to do with their hands. More on kids with SPD here.
  • 36:30: Kids with ADHD will often see improvement when supported in both mind and body. How are the mind and body connected when we look at inattention struggles?
  • 37:38: Many people see ADHD as a mental disorder or a made-up diagnosis for behavioral issues. They don’t look at the physical component or why they are behaving that way.
  • 38:59: I love to leave you, parents, with a message of hope! Dr. Effiong has some great encouraging words for you today.

Give yourself grace. You’re doing your best for your child. -Dr. Hokehe Effiong

Resources We Mention for ADHD Symptoms

Dr. EffiongDr. Hokehe Effiong, board-certified in Pediatrics, helps families with children who have symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention. She works with them to help them get to the root causes of their behavior, so they can improve their attention and listening skills both at home and in the classroom, so the child can excel and flourish in mind and body. Not just focused on the individual child, her methods help the whole family flourish together as a whole.

Dr. Effiong also runs the non-profit Kits of Hope, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization that shares love, hope and dignity with children in the foster care system. Kits of Hope gives children in foster care a bag with brand-new comfort and essential items they can call their own, along with a handwritten card telling them they are loved and cherished. This token of love is meant to affirm to each one that they are precious, lovable, and not alone.

When she’s not working, she can be found chasing or being chased by her 3 angels, reading books, singing, dancing, and traveling with her family.

 getting to the root of ADHD

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector

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2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids

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3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

Enroll now in the Wall Street Journal’s #1 recommended online cooking class for kids (also rated 5 stars on Facebook). See what fits your family best HERE.

About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

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