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Jani Scholfield - 7 yr old Schizophrenic



Hi all,

Jani's family and story was on Oprah (October 2009), the family are on twitter as well have a website. (just google it...i'm being lazy)

Link to Oprah below - (could only find part 2 onwards...soz)


Just interested in peoples opinions on this one.

Please note, the family is quite high profile and have received criticism as well as sympathy.

I'm hoping to find out if people can relate to Jani's "delusions" - compared to their own experiences.


It's sick - I can't watch it. A child drugged out of her mind & labelled as insane. The Americans love doing that - Drugging their children.


That link left me with many questions. I am not familiar with the practice of diagnosing someone so young with that condition, but hey who am I to say. It just seems to me like there could be a variety of things going on

1) She was an only child until five, used to all the attention
2) She has overly anxious and indulgent parents
3) With her they were new parents (is seems - might be wrong)
4) As an only child you do make up imaginary friends
5) Some children have them to a lesser or greater degree and some of my friends still had them at aged 10.
6) When her brother (I think it is a brother) came along she got sibling jealousy and rivalry which is to be expected, and acted out in probably the only was she knew how with violence.
7) She got her own way, she got her own apartment and also individual attention from her parents.
8) Did she take her first overdose after her first psyche hospital or before? Because at that age copy cat behaviours can happen, (but I'm not saying that in a bad way) and in a place like that attention seeking can reach an extreme, and more extreme behaviours can become more normalised in those places .

The hallucinating could be worrying but I watched a clip where she said she could see numbers, and I know there is a condition that does that called synaesthesia.

Hey I'm no doctor, they probably did go down all the avenues before and this is the correct diagnosis. But for me at that age I wouldn't start saying she will have it for life as if it is never going to get better.

That's my two pence worth! :)


Jun 7, 2009
i think they gave her a lot of attention when she first started seeing her imaginary friends......
Sugar Coated Owl

Sugar Coated Owl

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2009
Aren't childhood imaginary friends normal.


After close observation of their own children, with a combined age of 61 years, observations of many other children in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Israel, Greece, Italy, Swiss, France, Holland, Belgium, England, Scotland, and the Bahamas, and numerous reports throughout recorded history, the authors have determined that a widely-distributed behavioral disorder has somehow been overlooked by psychiatrists. They have labeled this disorder "CHILD". Just like "ADD", "ADHD", and "Asperger's Syndrome", CHILD is not based on any medical evidence or test whatsoever, but it should nonetheless be a useful diagnosis for mental health professionals, school administrators, and parents.


Stage 1:

cries when left alone at night
cries when put into car seat
cries when being diapered or dressed
cries when hurt
naps too long (or) does not nap long enough
potty-training does not go smoothly
poor hand-eye coordination
fussy when teething
clingy during times of family stress

Stage 2:

tantrums when frustrated
incoherent babbling
climbs onto dangerous areas
enters roads without looking
fussy when hungry
insists on favorite cup at meals
refuses all vegetables
clingy following a parent's return from a trip
clingy following a move
clingy following birth of sibling
clumsiness with frequent dropping and spilling
continues unwanted behavior even when told to stop
punishment doesn't work

Stage 3:

sudden unexpected movements
irrational fears that don't respond to logic
funny noises, sudden shrieks, inappropriate giggling
talks to dolls and stuffed animals
may have imaginary playmates
fidgets when bored; unable to sit still
runs and climbs; always on the go
insists on wearing favorite clothing
does not come promptly when called
tells silly jokes
embarrasses parents in public
interrupts when parent is on the telephone
grumpy when tired
angry when losing a game
dawdles when hurried
fights with siblings
insists on own way of doing things
punishment doesn't work

Stage 4:

prefers playing to doing chores
stammers when nervous
doesn't listen to reason
selectively forgetful
talks excessively (or) does not talk enough
ignores direct questions
sudden, energetic behavior
self-centered, egocentric behavior
walks away when parent lectures
sullen when mistrusted
forgets to say "please" and "thank you" despite repeated reminders
grumpy when ill
resists structured teaching; prefers own way of learning
punishment doesn't work


The causes of this disorder are not yet clear, but the authors suspect that the primary cause is premature birth, i.e. birth prior to age 20. This is probably inevitable, as a 20-year gestation would be stressful for the human female.


This disorder is not preventable; it appears to be universal among low-age populations. However, there are several approaches that can minimize behavioral difficulties:

carrying in the first years
breastfeeding with child-led weaning
eye contact
gentle touch and hugs
respectful listening
undivided attention
validation of feelings
avoidance of punishment
natural learning


The prognosis is excellent, as this disorder subsides over time, provided the preventative measures listed above are taken. Drugs are not recommended.


thanks for the replies

I was a little stumped by this one.

The family have received a lot of attention and I'm sure they have a fair few emails concerning their daughter.

Oprah was pretty dense on this one i felt. Still the violence issue was bought up again - to reinforce what i see is very much is now a common association - ie people who are "mad" are more likely to be violent.

Really disappointed with the show on the whole - its was more like a freak show.

There's so much more information out there that should have been mentioned. Why is TV so continually biased? I get so mad seeing these shows, with the great editing and sympathy endearing music - without REAL information and substance. They have an audience in the palm of their hands - take the risk, god damn it - say something. Another wasted opp.

I was hoping for more of a balanced view from Oprah - but then again, why kid myself. Its only TV.



I'm sooo worried
I worry about all these trends too. Problem is that very few people do seem concerned - & by the time most of the population gets labelled & drugged - there won't be a lot anyone can do about it.


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trying to find a reason....its like I'm silenced, as no one believes a nutter. I'm already on the slag heap. pah. I'm still trucking though.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.



Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
How true - & there are some very Dark clouds on the horizon - that are not going to go away; however much people bury their heads in the sand & pretend that everything is OK.


Well-known member
Oct 31, 2009
I haven't looked at all the info people have posted on this but labling a seven year old child as schizophrenic!

Only in America! From my perspective a seven year old child's brain hasn't developed enough to get the kind of neural structure associated with schizophrenia, sure I can see the occasional mutation throwing up such an occurrence but I think its more likely that she has some behavioral issues mixed in with a creative imagination.

The Doctor who diagnosed this wants striking off, but hey in a country where you have to pay for treatment it probably adds a few dollars to his account so its all good from a capitalist perspective.

Jesus, Buddha, Allah and Krishna, medicated and hospitalizing a seven year old.

I could probably find some information backing up my neural structure argument, but I'm too drunk, maybe I'll do it tomorrow.
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