Schizophrenia In Children: Recognize The Signs

April 1, 2024|Mental Health|
A mother kisses her child on the forehead while he plays with a fidget spinner.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects approximately one percent of the population. While it is commonly associated with adults, it can also occur in children. In fact, about 1 in 40,000 children are diagnosed with schizophrenia. It is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the signs of schizophrenia in children so that they can seek proper treatment and support. 

What is Schizophrenia?

Before we dive into the signs of schizophrenia in children, it is important to understand what schizophrenia is. Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It is characterized by a distorted perception of reality, hallucinations and delusions. It can also cause difficulty with social interactions and daily functioning. Schizophrenia risk factors in children can include having a family history of the disorder, the use of psychoactive drugs during adolescence. Understanding the risk factors is a key part in schizophrenia prevention and treatment.

Signs of Schizophrenia in Children

The early signs of schizophrenia in children can vary and may be difficult to recognize. However, there are some common symptoms that parents and caregivers should be aware of. These include:

Changes in Behavior

Children with schizophrenia may exhibit changes in their behavior, such as sudden mood swings, aggression or withdrawal from social interactions. They may also have difficulty concentrating or completing tasks.


One of the most common signs of schizophrenia in children is hallucinations. These can be auditory, visual or tactile and may cause the child to hear, see or feel things that are not real.


Delusions are another common symptom of schizophrenia in children. These are false beliefs that are not based in reality. Children with schizophrenia may have delusions that someone is trying to harm them or that they have special powers.

Disorganized Thinking and Speech

Children with schizophrenia may have difficulty organizing their thoughts and expressing them coherently. They may also have trouble following conversations or understanding abstract concepts.

Changes in School Performance

Schizophrenia can also affect a child’s academic performance. They may have difficulty completing assignments, paying attention in class or understanding instructions.

How to Recognize the Signs

Recognizing the signs of schizophrenia in children can be challenging, as many of the symptoms can overlap with other mental health disorders. However, if you notice a combination of the above symptoms in your child, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can properly diagnose your child and provide appropriate treatment.

Seeking Treatment

Early intervention is crucial for children with schizophrenia. Treatment may include a combination of medication, therapy and support services. It is important for parents and caregivers to be involved in their child’s treatment and to provide a supportive and understanding environment.

Hartgrove Behavioral hospital can help act as supplemental care for your child. Call today at 773-649-6200 to schedule an assessment and see if any of our programs are right for you and your child.

In case of a mental health crisis, CALL 988 or seek the nearest emergency room.

For physical health emergencies, CALL 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.


Hartgrove Hospital

Hartgrove Hospital is a Modern Behavioral Health Hospital that specializes in personalized treatment for adults, adolescents and children. We pride ourselves on delivering quality care provided by our compassionate and thoughtful staff. Our mission is to restore the emotional well-being of our patients, while giving them the proper resources for their future.

Some of our programs include our inpatient and outpatient services. As well as our trauma and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). These programs are offered with an all-encompassing psychiatric healthcare service that is both effective and efficient. Located in Chicago, IL, our facility has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 773-572-7900 .

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