Also I forgot to add she just recently started telling us that she hears ringing in her head and that she hears me calling her name when she knows I am not. I have a hard time believing her though because she tells us with a smirk on her face and even when I tried to talk to her privately she takes it as a joking matter. Any thoughts?
Dang, that is tough to work with. And having 3 other kids and one that is just 4 months really complicates the situation.
The first question is - is she on meds? If so, there are some that last much longer (like vyvanse), which might help when she gets home. This is something to bring up with your doctor.
But essentially, her actions are ones that I would almost recognize as typical for a child with ADHD and young siblings. I suggest that you get the book, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. It will help you realize what is typical or not. Also it has lots of helpful advice about working with ADHD kids. (and with 3 other kids, you just might need it later on). Her actions are also kind of typical for a 9 year old that has 3 younger siblings competing for their mothers attention. If your husband has the time to take her out and physically run her, tire her out, pay attention to her - before he goes off to work, I think that will help. Part of this is a cry for attention, and part the ADHD.
As you will read in the book, the thing an ADHD child needs most is consistency. Thats really hard to do in your situation, but you gotta try. And, I hate to say it, but a lot of things you tried earlier just don't work with ADHD kids. In fact, if you only tried them for awhile, it won't work many kids. Essentially, you are trying to change behavior. That requires immediate, constant consequences for at least 3 weeks. The book I mentioned will touch on this. Another really good book is "SOS Help for Parents," by Lynn Clark. While it is not aimed at ADHD kids, the same techniques work. And it will help you with the other kids.
Essentially, I think you really need a better understanding of what ADHD does and how to deal with it. Its too bad your doctor left you out of the loop here. Just being curious, is your doctor a pediatrician? They tend to give meds and not much info. You might want to also check out this site - http://www.ncpamd.com/adhd.htm. There is a lot of good info here.
Finally, your bi-polar question is a good one. From the symptoms you briefly described, I would say no. I think its more what I said above, but I can send you a long list of bi-polar vs ADHD differences if you are interested.
You are in a difficult situation and kind of out numbered. Intelligence is your best bet. Take the time to do some reasearch, it will pay off. Make Ashley's book your first choice. Hope this helps. Please post if you have any more questions.
Just saw your last post, which reminded me of one other thing.
First, I'd probably ignore the "ringing", you've got more pressing things to deal with.
But more importantly, you said she was doing great in school. If she is on meds (is she?) or not, it sounds like she may be a pretty intelligent little girl. That really complicates matters because it means her problem solving abilities are pretty good. It also means that she can be doing a lot of what she is doing because she has found it gets her what she wants. The ADHD compounds this because (if the meds wear off [if she is on them]), she will react without thinking about it. You might even want to talk to her teacher and see if she had any problems like you are mentioning at the start of the year and how the teacher dealt with them.
Anyway, if she is intelligent, it means that she will test more and longer. But the resources I mentioned above will still help. You also might want to try and incorporate her into the home routine more. Its time for her to be a big sister and help out. Try and give her a sense of responsibility, but don't go crazy about it.
Great advice! I am going to look into picking up those books as soon as possible. To answer your questions yes she is on a med. She takes Methylin ER 10mg every morning before school and none on weekends or off days. It seems to help (we have tried it out on weekends) but not to the affect I think it should. My daughter however thinks that it helps her concentrate and finish her work on time. She says on the days she takes it that she is not in as much trouble and her work is done more efficiently, so it must be helping a little. My daughter is a straight A student and always has been her teacher however is no help at all. She basically told me that my daughter did not need meds and that she did not see any signs of ADHD at all. Even though I spent the first part of the year fielding calls from her and the principal due to bad behavior and miss used time. When I did put her on meds I kept it a secret form the teacher and waited for my next conference where she just raved about how much better my daughter was doing in class. I am going to ask my psychiatrist on Monday when I go about possibly making my daughter an appointment also. I think that you may be right about the pediatrician just handing out the meds and not enough of the info. I think that taking her to a more in depth doctor may be a good step to take. As far as exercise I agree that she needs more! Unfortunately my husband is gone before she is even out of school so it makes for a long night stuck at home with Mom. At least until all the sow melts and I can take a baby out to play. I know that this is wearing on all of the kids but he is on the list to go to day shift and thankfully summer is almost here. She does have responsibilities here at home to attend to daily. We have a chore chart hanging on the kitchen wall that they all are asked to complete daily. Well Monday through Thursday. The chores for my daughter range from making her bed to loading and starting the dishwasher. Nothing anymore difficult than that and no more than three a day. Most of the chores revolve around their own rooms and and toy room. She knows that these are expected of her and that is how she earns her privileges and money.Yet every single day I have to go back and forth with her about why they need to be done and it generally turns into me half in tears and her crying about not wanting to do them. All the fighting takes away from getting my other two to follow the leader and get their chores done too. So it all turns into me scrambling around the house doing them myself or having to stand over everyone to get simple things like dusting a table done. I understand that it is normal to not want to do chores and I sympathize with her on that. However I also explain to her that with growing up and getting older we all have to perform more chores than what we used to and that as much as her younger siblings learn from me they learn from her too. I have explained what it is to be responsible for something and have tried my hardest to lead by example. I am just worried that I will not be able to get this behavior under control and will soon find myself with four kids running around screaming at me all day long. Yuck...