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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
It's entirely natural that you might be concerned right now about your child's health; a mental health problem like schizophrenia can be frightening. But you can rest assured that at Boston Children's Hospital, your child is in good hands.
How is schizophrenia treated at Children's?
Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric illness that calls for careful, often complex and lifelong treatment. A combination of therapies is usually necessary to effectively manage the disease.
Since there is no known cure for schizophrenia,treatment is aimed at reducing the severity of the disorder's impact on early life and helping the child manage symptoms. Treatment is most successful when symptoms are addressed early on.
As one of the largest pediatric psychiatric services in New England, Children's has an experienced team of expert psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers ready to help you, your child and your family cope. Your Children's clinician will prescribe treatment methods that may include medication, psychotherapy, specialized educational or activity programs and support groups.
The use of medications (also called psychopharmacology) is essential in treating schizophrenia. The most commonly prescribed schizophrenia drugs are neuroleptics, or antipsychotic medications. These drugs act against the symptoms of schizophrenia, but cannot cure the disease itself.
Traditionally prescribed neuroleptics include:
Newer and less commonly prescribed medications that have proven effective in treating symptoms of schizophrenia include:
Children's has a specialized Psychopharmacology Program whose team members work with other Department of Psychiatry clinicians—and with parents and family members—to determine the best medications for each child, incorporate the medication regimen into the child's overall treatment plan and monitor the effectiveness of the drugs over the long term.
Learn more about psychiatric medications for children and adolescents.
Psychotherapy—also known as “talk therapy”—is the cornerstone of psychiatric treatment at Children's.
Through sessions with a psychiatrist or psychologist At Boston Children's Hospital, your child can better:
Treatment for schizophrenia will often include not only individual therapy for your child, but also family therapy for you and other loved ones, so that you have the information, support system and other tools you need to become an active participant in your child's care.
Specialized educational and/or structured activity programs
Children and adolescents with schizophrenia may reap significant benefits from specialized programs offered at schools, in medical centers or in the community. Examples of these programs might include:
Your Children's clinician can refer you to the educational and activity programs in your area that are best suited to address your child's needs.
Schizophrenia support groups for children and families can be tremendously helpful. These groups meet at medical centers, schools or community centers, and some even meet online or by phone. These resources can provide:
Your Children's treatment team can recommend patient, parent, sibling and family support groups that focus on living with schizophrenia.
The journey you, your child and your family will undertake in treating schizophrenia can be emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting.
In addition to the information provided here, Children's offers the following resources for support and guidance:
Visit our “For Patients and Families” page for all the information you need about:
Please note that neither Boston Children's Hospital nor the Department of Psychiatry unreservedly endorses all of the information found at the sites listed below. These links are provided as a resource.
Helpful links for parents
Helpful links for teens
Helpful links for younger children
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”