Anyone have experience with schizophrenia in children? Very real imaginary friends!?
I’m not asking for a diagnosis, merely opinions, and thoughts. I am currently looking for a psychologist who can help us further, and have some books on hold at the library about it. I’m concerned about my 9 year old autistic son. I’m sorry this is going to be long, probably…
He has had an imaginary friend, “Gavin”, since he was about 5, as far as we know. But that is also when he started to verbalize more things, so actually, he may have been friends with Gavin for longer than that. I know that imaginary friends are normal in children. I had one when I was a kid, but the thing was, *I knew she was imaginary*, I knew other people could not see her. I’ve started to get more worried about my son, because I don’t think he knows that.
Gavin used to be in a wheelchair. (Don’t ask me why- kid has a vivid imagination, I guess). Recently, Gavin was given a walker, and can walk around. Now that he has a walker, people keep sitting on him. This really upsets my son. He goes mad when people sit on Gavin. Gavin pretty much goes everywhere, because according to my son, he has separation anxiety. Everyone has to leave a space for Gavin to stand next to, or sit next to my son. He even has an empty chair at school for Gavin to sit next to him. Someone sat on Gavin today at the supermarket, and my son was very, very upset- and in fact, still is now, several hours later.
There is a correlation between autism and schizophrenia which I do not fully understand at the moment. I’ve looked it up online but haven’t found too much useful info. Some of the books I’ve got coming from the library are about it, so will hopefully shed some light. My son’s therapists and teachers have all pretty much brushed it off, and said it’s normal. But recently I’ve felt like Gavin is getting more and more real, and honestly, it freaks me out.
I don’t think it is normal anymore. Maybe it used to be, but it’s not anymore. I also don’t think it’s healthy because it upsets my son so much. For something that doesn’t exist, Gavin sure does cause a lot of problems. I want him gone. My son already does play therapy, which is supposed to help get rid of imaginary friends. It isn’t working, obviously.
I brought up schizophrenia today with his ABA therapist. She said she didn’t think so– BUT, she also said she doesn’t know much (anything) about it. I don’t know what to do about Gavin in the meantime either. He’s a real pain. He was easier when he was in the wheelchair too.
Just from reading this post, do you think I’m over-reacting and it sounds normal? Or maybe there is something more going on??
(Again, I know you don’t know for sure. Opinions only.)
2nd answer: Good idea, but unlikely because my son is more of a “sensory seeker”. He climbs all over people, and would sit on a stranger’s lap if they let him. He has no issues with people being close to him. You can be close to him as long as Gavin isn’t on that side.