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“A Wild Roller Coaster Ride:” Raising Grandchildren with ADHD

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Trisha and John Herrity had already raised their own four children when they assumed custody of their six-month-old grandson, Justin, and, later, his younger brother, Brian.

Substance abuse prevented the boys’ parents from caring for them. The Herritys scrambled to balance their unexpected child-rearing responsibilities with their careers, and to offer the emotional support the boys needed.When little Justin displayed symptoms of ADHD, the Herritys recognized them immediately because one of their children, now grown, also had been diagnosed with the disorder. “By the time Justin was five, we recognized the signs,” says Trisha Herrity.Nationwide, grandparents like the Herritys are confronting the unique challenges of raising children with ADHD and other conditions.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 2.1 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren; more than 1 million of those are age 60 and older.

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