Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects the normal functioning of the brain, interfering with a person’s ability to think, feel and act. The brain is made up of nerve cells, called neurons, and chemicals, called neurotransmitters. An imbalance of one neurotransmitter, dopa mine, is thought to cause the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Some do recover completely, and with time, most find that their symptoms improve. However, for many, it is a prolonged illness that can involve years of distressing symptoms and disability. Schizophrenia is treated with medication, therapy or a combination of the two. In severe cases, a hospital stay may be necessary


Hallucinations occur when a person senses things that aren’t really there; however, they seem very real to the person experiencing them. The most commonly experienced hallucination is hearing voices, which no one else can hear. Often a person hears more than one voice at a time. Many times, the voices tell him/her what to door comment on what s/he is doing. People also have hallucinations where they see, feel, smell or taste something that is not there.


Delusions are untrue beliefs that are believed by the person experiencing them to be very real. Some people who experience delusions believe that they are being controlled by something besides themselves or believe that people are inserting or removing ideas, or listening to their thoughts.

Confused thinking

When acutely ill, people with psychotic symptoms experience disordered thinking. The everyday thoughts that let us live our daily lives become confused and don’t join up properly.

Programming Considerations

  • Beware of situations that cause stress and prevent the situation occurring if possible.
  • Be realistic about what people can achieve.
  • Give clear concise instructions and you may need to repeat them.
  • Gain eye contact for directions.

Strategies for Inclusion

Allow them to withdraw from situations that cause stress or tension.