Schizophrenia: What to Look For

Children with schizophrenia may exhibit unusual thoughts and behavior. If your child has schizophrenia, he might express ideas that don’t make sense, appear internally distracted, or perceive hostility in others where none is apparent. While it is common for young children to have imaginary friends, the voices that kids with schizophrenia hear are experienced as external, not internal, as if they’re hearing someone else talking, or telling them what to do. Other signs include a child’s belief that strangers know about him or are talking about him, or that the television is relaying special messages to him. For a child with schizophrenia, everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, attending school, and communicating coherently may become difficult, and he might withdraw from social interaction or appear to have little emotional range.