What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia in Children?

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Though schizophrenia in children is rare, it is actually a serious mental illness that requires immediate medical treatment. In fact, signs and symptoms may vary greatly from kids to kids. The following are some common early signs of childhood schizophrenia to watch for. The earliest indications of childhood schizophrenia may include developmental problems, such as:
  • Language delays
  • Late or unusual crawling
  • Late walking
  • Other abnormal motor behaviors — for example, rocking or arm flapping
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • A drop in performance at school
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability or depressed mood
  • Lack of motivation
Compared with schizophrenia symptoms in adults, teens may be:
  • Less likely to have delusions
  • More likely to have visual hallucinations
However, some of these signs and symptoms are also common in children with pervasive developmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder. So ruling out these developmental disorders is one of the first steps in diagnosis. Schizophrenia is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment. Identifying and starting treatment for childhood schizophrenia as early as possible may significantly improve your child's long-term outcome.   Keywords: schizophrenia child symptom