How To Teach a Student With Schizophrenia

Schizophrenic symptoms are characterized by hallucinations, delusions, thinking disorder, disorganized behavior, social withdrawal and difficulty in processing one’s thoughts. All these signs can have bad effects on a person’s ability to learn and grow at school.

Teaching a person suffering from schizophrenia is a huge challenge for teachers. The student dealing with this mental disorder falls under the category known as educable mentally handicapped. Educators and heath care professionals say that there are multiple levels of need, based on the person’s testable IQ in a particular question, and the resulting level he or she experiences. These high functioning individuals with lower IQ than the average are known as educable mentally retarded. The IQ of the people who are diagnosed as educable mentally retarded, have noticeable delays, and usually their IQ’s fall in an approximate range of 50 to 75.

Emotionally or behaviorally handicapped student is an industry-wide category that assists teachers in understanding what the student needs are. Teaching methods involves creating individual education plans and putting together specific learning guides for each student. A meeting is necessary for all teachers who guide the students, the school psychologist, therapists or team of medical professionals, guidance counselor, parents or guardians, and the student if they are able to comprehend. During the meeting, the team will create an effective place based on the student’s condition and behavior. This may include using graphic organizers and textbooks.

Individual educational plan often calls for accommodations and adjustments for the student who has schizophrenic symptoms. These modifications may include using graphic organizers for comprehension and learning techniques to aid memory recall. People with schizophrenia often have troubles with understanding and memory recall. Their intellectual capacity is quite weak that is why in most cases using visual map of ideas or concepts helps them to easily comprehend. Creating worksheets for students help them organize their thoughts and understand what they are reading. For instance, some teachers use instructions like “Please click on the “Graphic Organizers” link to find out more graphic organizers”. This may improve the students’ ability to follow instructions and teach them how to use the graphic organizer, and then practice using it with a certain lesson. For example, using ROY G BIV to help the students in remembering the order of the colors in a rainbow and using Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, this helps them in remembering the order of operations in math involving parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

It is very important to put the modifications in place. It changes to what the student is expected to learn, how they perform during their lessons, and how they will be tested and graded. For instance, if a student is placed in a regular classroom, there will be small, if any, modifications since he will learn what the others are learning. Each modification has more value in a classroom which focuses on special education. Schizophrenic students will have modification like working on a lower grade level book. Moreover, a student who takes an easier standard test, would also take advantage of a modification.