Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Delusions (talking with people who do not exist) Incoherence Lack of or inappropriate display of emotions Inability to concentrate Disorganized thinking or behavior Inability to read social cues Excessive fatigue Emotional withdrawal Extreme moodiness Odd behavior
Schizophrenia usually appears during adolescence or early adulthood. The cause is
unknown; however, many believe that it is an inherited disorder.
Medical Treatment of Schizophrenia
The National Institute of Mental Health (2008) states that the treatment of schizophrenia
includes pharmacotherapy (medications) using antipsychotic medications such as Risperdal, Risperidone, and Haldol (three of many prescribed medications) combined with psychosocial interventions: cognitive therapy, rehabilitation day programs, peer support groups, or nutritional supplements. The psychosocial interventions include supportive therapy with family, educational interventions, and vocational rehabilitation when appropriate.
Educational Strategies for Schizophrenia
It is essential to remember that schizophrenia is an illness just like diabetes. Children
who experience schizophrenia need to realize that something is wrong in their body, and they have no control over what is happening. Even if the symptoms are well controlled by medication, extra support from the school system may be necessary, or a completely different educational program may be appropriate.
Understand that the child may miss a lot of school due to medication issues or the
Relieve pressure and stress if possible. Expect the child's attention, energy, and abilities to rise and fall
o Provide sympathy, encouragement, and understanding rather than forcing the child to
behave and shape up on an "off day."
Base the student's grades on what has been
done rather than what has not been
these children are very sensitive to criticism.
make the child less tolerant of heat and sunshine. Noise and activity of the normal school day may become overwhelming. Provide and allow use of a refuge when the student feels it's necessary. If a psychotic episode or breakdown occurs at school, remain calm, speak
softly, and be available to the child-do not try to talk the Child out of the episode, belittle the child, or point out that he or she is being ridiculous.
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