Schizophrenia

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is an uncommon but severe, serious and disabling chronic psychiatric disorder where children (before the age of 18 years-rare before age 13 years) and young adults (mid to late 20’s) interpret reality abnormally, have strange thinking, (cognitive difficulties) and feelings (psychotic symptoms), and unusual behavior and emotions. These, with delusions and hallucinations, make ordinary daily functioning difficult.
 

What causes schizophrenia? 

The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown. Some combination of environmental, behavioral, and inherited genetic factors probably play a role.
 

What are the signs/symptoms of schizophrenia? 

Signs and symptoms may vary. Early indications include developmental delay like language delay, late crawling or walking, rocking or flapping arms (and other abnormal motor symptoms). Teenagers may present with withdrawal from friends or family, extreme moodiness, paranoia (“people out to get them”), poor school performance, hear voices and see things which are not real, eccentric behavior and/or speech, confused thinking, sleeping, poor motivation, substance abuse, severe anxiety and fearfulness, become agitated and confused or sit immobilized, and poor personal hygiene/dress. Symptoms may resemble other medical or psychiatric conditions.
 

What are schizophrenia care options? 

Treatment is complex and includes medications to reduce symptoms, individual and family psychotherapy, specialized education programs which aim to improve speech, social and other skills, self help and support groups.

 

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 2/22/2018 11:22:42 AM

Weekly Support Programs

​F.O.C.U.S. Program

This group therapy program is designed for children ages 7 to 17 with behaviorial issues, including but not limited to ADHD. This support group meets on Wednesdays.   Learn more.

Calm Kids

Calm Kids is a weekly group therapy course designed to teach children strategies on how to take control over anxiety symptoms. Children will learn how to cope with fears and worries, identify anxiety triggers, how to relax the mind and body and maximize their self-confidence. This group meets on Tuesdays. Learn more.

Camp DMC

Camp DMC is a summer program for children with special needs run by Nicklaus Children’s Dan Marino Outpatient Center. Please note: We will not offer Camp DMC during summer of 2019. Learn more.

Social Skills Group

Children and teens ages 7 to 17 are invited to join this small discussion group to learn how to make, cultivate and maintain friendships. Participants will learn basic conversational skills, and discuss the use of appropriate humor, how to electronically connect with others, and how to manage disagreements. Learn more.