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Schizophrenia Information > Childhood Schizophrenia

Childhood Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
A child's stage of development must be taken into account when considering a diagnosis of mental illness. Behaviors that are normal at one age, may not be at another. Rarely, a normal young child may report strange experiences—such as hearing voices—that would be considered abnormal at a later age. Clinicians look for a more persistent pattern of such behaviors. Parents may have reason for concern if a child of 7 years or older often hears voices saying derogatory things about him or her, or voices conversing with one another, talks to himself or herself, stares at scary things—snakes, spiders, shadows—that aren't really there, and shows no interest in friendships. Such behaviors could be signs of schizophrenia, a chronic and disabling form of mental illness.

Fortunately, schizophrenia is rare in children, affecting only about 1 in 40,000, compared to 1 in 100 in adults. The average age of onset is 18 in men and 25 in women. Ranking among the top 10 causes of disability in developed countries worldwide, schizophrenia, at any age, exacts a heavy toll on patients and their families. Children with schizophrenia experience difficulty in managing everyday life. They share with their adult counterparts hallucinations, delusions, social withdrawal, flattened emotions, increased risk of suicide and loss of social and personal care skills. They may also share some symptoms with—and be mistaken for—children who suffer from autism or other pervasive developmental disabilities, which affect about 1 in 500 children. Although they tend to be harder to treat and have a worse prognosis than adult-onset schizophrenia patients, researchers are finding that many children with schizophrenia can be helped by the new generation of anti-psychotic medications.

Additional Resources for Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia

Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia Symptoms, Treatment and Causes

Diagnosis of Childhood-onset Schizophrenia

Progressive Brain Changes Detected in Childhood Onset Schizophrenia

Is My child at risk for developing schizophrenia - Weblog

Childhood Schizophrenia - Overview

Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia - Brain Imaging Research, UCLA

Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia Study - Participation Opportunity

Recommended Books

Leading Researchers in Childhood-onset Schizophrenia

Other Web Sites Related to Childhood Schizophrenia with Good Resources:
Early-onset Bipolar. This website is brought to us by Papolos & Papolos, the authors of “The Bipolar Child”. The information is VERY applicable for Childhood Onset Schizophrenia!! Has Newsletters, information on symptoms, educational needs, sample IEP, and summarized information about, and analyses of, the pediatric use of the newest antipsychotics.
Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF)website. Contains links to more information, and boards about hospitals, residential treatment centers, medications, and more. Remember, the symptoms and treatment of COS, COS-A, and EOBP HIGHLY overlap.
Drug & illness information for consumers (as opposed to professionals, although it does have that for registered medical professionals). Simple, easy-to-understand information about illnesses and medications (including proper use, precautions, side-effects, etc). Also has articles. HIGHLY recommended site for anyone wanting LOTS of information in layman language.
A lifetime of reading is at this site. Has a Schizophrenia Resource Center. You must register to use it, but it’s free. You get the latest (daily updates) news (both from Reuters Health as well as other news) in any medical category. It has a link directly into the famous “medline search” tool which is allows you to search through an enormous database of medical research articles, many of which have on-line abstracts. It will cost money to get the actual full-article, but often, the abstracts are good enough. Also has links to on-line medical lessons "CME". Site has medical dictionary, drug information, medical conference summaries, case studies, and more.
Radio shows (1 hr) with Dr. Goodwin. Uses Real Audio. Every week, a new radio show is added. Includes summaries. Covers diverse topics such as “The Bipolar Child”, “Epilepsy”, “Psychosis”, “Cell Phones”, “Menopause and the Mind” and many many more.


Bipolar Disorder




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