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stitcher45 07-03-2002 08:59 PM

Shizophrenia in children
Does anyone have any experience with shizophrenia in younger children? My 9 year old grandaughter has just been diagnosed of this on top of - ADHD - Aspergers Syndrome (high functioning autism) - Oppositional Defiance amoung other minor things. We are concerned because she is getting harder to handle and while they are talking about her going to a treatment facilaty it will take several months before they can place her. Yesterday we woke to find that she had run away. After we found her and ended up taking her to the hospital, we found out that she had been seen vandializing a neighbors garage. I would appreciate any thing anyone could share.


crauckis 07-08-2002 08:47 AM

Schizophrenia & Autism/Asperger's

First off - you're not alone.
My daughter, now 25, was epileptic before birth and flummoxed the doctors for most of her life. The correct diagnoses took many years to get, but include epilepsy, Asperger's, and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia and autism are more common than thought. Autism and schizophrenia are extremely difficult to separate out because their behaviors can be so interchangeable and you can't always tell which is from what. Add Oppositional Defiant and ADHD into the stew, perseveration and distractibility both at the same time, OCD may be another culprit, and you've got a mess on your hands that almost defies diagnosis.

Your daughter already knows all the horror stories about doctors and your granddaughter that you don't already know about first hand. I can tell you because of the wonderful advances over the last 20 years, and I may be able to suggest some guideposts to mark your road ahead, and I can dig around for resources you'll need.

Off the top of my head:
Univ. of Florida is (or was) doing research work into milk, autism, and schizophrenia.
The best Asperger's site around used to be but I'll have to find it for you.
Autism listserv groups will probably be more help to you than any other lay groups. Autism people have to deal with everything and often are very very knowledgeable.
Univ. of Massachusetts (I think they're the ones) have a research project underway into Asperger's in children. They're very good.
"Dual-diagnosis" clinics are the places that technically deal with mental-health issues in mentally-retarded people. I know that's not the case with your granddaughter because Asperger's/HFA generally indicates normal or above intelligence. But normal intelligence for a kid like this often means that it goes in at a high level but often gets "stuck" (I've never come up with a better word) in there and may come back out at a low level.

The sooner you have a county MRDD caseworker for your granddaughter the better, but even that's gonna take some time. They work with people with all sorts of disabilities, not just MR.

Please remind your daughter - and yourself - that nothing is more important for you to remember than the fact that:

- - - YOU are the EXPERT - - -

Professionals will try to convince you otherwise - don't let them get you down. You are the expert; they are nothing more than merely professionals.

Geez, you guys are in a real mess. Sandy, here's my private email address (please don't give out private e-mails in posts. Use the pm function to exchange personal information debknechtel) If you let me know what state you're in, I can probably find the resources you might start with.


crauckis 07-08-2002 03:12 PM

Sandy -

Have had only a little time to start looking around today, but found the Asperger O.A.S.I.S. site at
It's about the motherlode for AS information if you haven't already been there.

Lots of online info about childhood schizophrenia. Including physical conditions with similar symptoms. Here are just a couple:

If you do a general search on "childhood schizophrenia" you'll find some fascinating things, some depressing, some hopeful.

If there's a university teaching hospital where your granddaughter is, their neuro clinic most likely works with the psych clinic in tandem. In the private setting, on the other hand, you often get little more than doctors competing instead of working cooperatively.

This is just a start. More coming, and more people will contact you here.


hotwheelsmama89 07-08-2002 08:29 PM

about my 2 boys
What is asperger syndrome. I have2 boys each diagnosed with ADD AND ADHD, also one has ODD and they say impulse control disorder, I have been dealing with this for a long time, actually one boy seems to get better but then we have days, and now my other one is starting. They fight with each other like crazy. they are 1 year and 17 days apart. they say they hate each other, i have had to separate them. they both mess in their pants, one never used to and now he does, I love them both but sometimes i get so tired. tomorrow we see a new counselor. one has been in a hospital 4 times, was on probation, in trouble with the school
has been recently been said he has dyslexia.
sure would like to talk to someone :-:

stitcher45 07-08-2002 09:56 PM

Asperger Syndrome
aspergers is a very high functioning autisim. They usually have trouble with interpersonal relationships while they are super smart. They can make good grade most of the time but they can't get along with the other kids. They don't "fit in" with the other children and even thought they desperatly want to have friends they seldom are able to develope friendships. There is much more to this syndrome (syndrome means many differing symptoms- no 2 childran have the exact same symptomes)

It sounds like you also have wuite a mixed bag of problems with your boys. How old are they? To me it sounds like they are now realizing that they are different than the other kids their age and are responding to the frustration they feel. If they see the things they don't like in themselves in the brother that might be the cause of the great dislike they have for each other. I am no doctor but I have sure read a lot in the last 8 years.

for me it has been very hard to watch my granddaughter change from a dear sweet little girl into this child with a monster living inside her. I can see why years ago they felt that people with mental illness were possessed. Sometimes it feels like grd has been taken over by some alien creature. I am sure that you feel frustration at not being able to get answers from doctors, case workers, social workers amd other therapists. It is hard to keep fighting to find the true answers to your children's problems. As Chris said above remember you are the expert about your children not the doctors - don't let them talk down to you or make you feel like you should be quiet. Ask Questions!!!!! Seek to know everythimg about everything that any medical person wants to do for or on your boys. They need you to be their advicates - stand up forwhat you feel is right - you will usually be right because you have more experience with your own children that any staff that works with them.

You have every right to get tired of taking care of your boys. It is a hard thing to care for them 24/7. Do you have the availability of respite care for them. You might check with your councelors and other medical staff for directions to where you might find this help. I don't know what we would do if we didn't have that opportunity for our grd. Sometimes it is just too much for all of us to have her to care for one more minute. The respite time is good for her and for us. If you have a Luthern social Service close to you that is the first place I would check into. nO matter what you have to get yourself some help so that you can have some time off from being their parent. How is your son's father handling all this?

If you need someone to talk to or if you have questions fel free to write me at (please don't post personal information in posts. Use the pm function to exchange personal informationdebknechtel)I may not have any answers but I'll at least be there to listen.

Come back here too we can support each other and maybe others that show up after us. (())


Whatever happens remember you are not in this alone.

stitcher45 07-08-2002 10:10 PM

Chris I have posted 2 different replies to your helpful post of yesterday but neither one of them would post. It kept telling me that I wasn't logged in when I had already done that. Don't know what was wrong.

I truely appreciate all the helpful information. and will check out all the sites you have shared.

Today has been another rough day. we transferred dgrd to the emergency shelter to stay until the behavior facility has an opening. She was not happy but I think she will feel better after she gets settled. She has been there before for respite care and always loves it so I think she will be okay. she is just supper mad that she can't come home.

No the place she is going to be treated at is not connected to a university hospital. sometimes I wish we had taken her to Iowa City to the university hospital but it is a long drive and we wouldn't have the help she needs when we have an emergency. She is in a small unit at a hospital that only works with mental illness and dependency problems. I use the same hospital when I have to be hospitalized with my bipolar illness.

It is so nice to have someone who understands where I am coming from. I have been the main caregiver for most of her life. But because I am just grandma and not a legal guardian I am so often left out of the equation. I have not been able to visit her the whole time she has been in the hospital this time. I saw her today because I helped transfer her but I couldn't go in the hospital or into the shelter either. We may be able to visit her at the shelter in a few days when she is settled a little more. Her sister can hardly stand that she can't see her. I hope we will be able to at least have them together for a few minutes soon.

Thank you for your support and all the information that you have gotten together for us. I means more than I can express.:. I will use your email addy I am sure. Thank you for the offer.


bacraig 07-09-2002 08:40 AM

It is very painful for me to read about these poor Moms and children. I have a child 8 1/2 that was diagnosed when she was 6 with ADHD (which I suspected) and most likely Oposition Diffiant Disorder. Plus reading problems. What she does learns has a hard time sticking with her. And, also, she too has a hard time making friend and usually floats off by her self even at a party...her own birthday party! We had to keep bringing her back to activities. She ways she wants friends, though. She seems to do much better with older kids or adults.

She voiced that she wanted to commit suicide a couple weeks ago, in great detail. Off we went to ER, then on to a Mental Health facility, though I have to say it was not impressed with the way that this was handled @ the MHF or her follow up care after her release 2 days later. But, thats another story.

She was started on an anti depressent and one for mood swings. After 10 days she seems to be doing quit well..with very few outbursts. We still have need for follow ups and family counseling.

Sometimes its not easy being a parent, darn it!!

tapeugh 07-09-2002 12:40 PM

My daughter is also 8.5 and is having almost identical problems. She is seeing a psychologist (very slow progress). So far she has not been diagnosed with anything. Our family doctor put her on Paxil, Concerta, and an anti-psychotic drug. None of them have made any difference in her behaviors. Just wondering what drugs your daughter is taking.

crauckis 07-09-2002 01:51 PM

To tapeugh -

I see your location is Central Ohio.

Children's Hospital in Columbus has some very good clinics.
OSU is excellent and they are very atuned to collaborating among disciplines.

You're not likely to get very far in the private setting because diagnoses of these kids is extremely difficult and almost always involve multiple disciplines - the "professionals" seem more competitive than collaborative outside multi-disciplinary clinics.

Franklin County Health Dept has a program called BCMH, Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps, which funds medical costs and drugs, but requires a diagnosis for eligibility. Many or most private physicians and providers don't even know about it. Other counties each have their own version.

If you're having trouble with your school, holler. I probably still have a pretty good handle on advocates and resources in Central Ohio for ed and special ed on both local and state levels.

County MRDD deals with much more than MR/DD people, and are a good resource.

Feel free to email privately if you wish.

-Chris (been there done that)
(please don't post private e-mails on the boards. Use the pm featue to exchange private information~debknechtel)

vikki 07-09-2002 06:48 PM

Wow this really brings back some very painful memories! I also have a son who was ADHD,ODD,and a few other ones. At 18 he has finally started to chill out! He's been to mental hospitals,treatment centers,detention centers etc.. I am still not sure how I made it through it.. he had so much anger in him..fighting with us,so many times I thought I could not go on but I did. One thing everyone who deals with kids like ours has to do is when the day is done, forget it and don't relive it the next day..that might seem hard..but its the only way to keep some peace in YOU..I hope I a not bringing anyne down,because I don't mean to do that..I still live in fear that he will get some stupid idea in his head and act on it..
I would love to know why the kids today are having problems like this? I surely hope no one here has to put their kids on "R" for ADHD...Wasn't sure if I can mention the name..Chris was on it and it about drove him nuts...swinging off the rafters in the garage while thowing lit matches at was a seen out of a horror movie I swear! There are some great treatment centers out there that might help...I wish each one of you the best...

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