The exploitation and abuse of children was exposed through social networks.
Since 2009, Susan and Michael Schofield have told the media that they are raising two children with congenital schizophrenia. Parents gave interviews to publications, starred in a documentary, appeared on television and led a YouTube channel about life with schizophrenic children.
In 2017, foreign forums and Reddit suggested that children received mental illness not because of “congenital schizophrenia”, but because of overdose with neuroleptics with which the mother tried to “cure” them. In March 2019, the guardianship took the children from their mother – shortly after another appearance on a talk show, where she admitted that she took her son to 50 doctors in the hope that he would be diagnosed, and fed him with huge doses of drugs.
Children with schizophrenia in the Schofield family
In the public space, the Schofield family first appeared in 2009 on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The TV presenter came to California to talk with seven-year-old Jani (Jani, short for January), who was diagnosed a “rare case of childhood schizophrenia” a year ago. In the video, the girl shows her drawings and tells about the characters who play with her during hallucinations – a “bad” cat named 400, a girl named 24 hours and another cat Sycamore.
Soon the “unique case of children’s schizophrenia” began to be covered in the media. Publications published articles with headlines ” The danger of childhood schizophrenia “, ” Her world – an illusion. Voices order her to kill. She has schizophrenia. She is 9 years old ”and“ Soothe uninvited guests in her head ”.
In 2010, Discovery released the documentary show “Born Schizophrenic” (“Born with Schizophrenia”) about Jani. In 2012, The Huffington Post published the story of the Schofield family about how to live with a child with schizophrenia. In 2013, they were invited to a talk show by a clinical psychologist, Dr. Phil. On the program, the girl spoke about her fictional world and generally behaved hyperactively.
At the same time, parents noticed the symptoms of schizophrenia in Bhodi, the youngest son. Doctors diagnosed the boy with autism, but Susan insisted that her child was ill with schizophrenia. Soon, Michael released the first book about the family – “January First: A Baby’s Dessert into Motherhood” (“January First: The Madness of a Child and the Father’s Attempt to Save Her”). Parents founded the foundation in honor of Jani (The Jani Foundation). In 2015, a non-profit organization raised nearly half a million dollars in donations.
When media attention to the family waned, Susan began to run a YouTube channel. She laid out videos about the daily life of children and told about their treatment. Mother filmed visits to doctors, visits to the soul, bouts of anger and seizures of children. In one of the videos, Jani talks about the first menstruation, and in the other, Bodi takes a blood test, but he doesn’t react to what is happening. The channel was deleted, but the archives with the majority of videos were preserved on the forums.
In 2015, Michael divorced his wife, moved to Minnesota and started a new family. In 2017, Susan published the book “Born Schizophrenic: A Mother’s Family Search for Her Family Sanity” (“Born with Schizophrenia: Mother’s Search for the Mental Health of her Family”). After the release, she began to lay out even more intimate moments of children’s life than before.
On Reddit and forums drew attention to child abuse
Users noticed on the Shofield social networks that they were back on TV, and created The Schofield Lie (Shofield Lie) channel exposing the inappropriate treatment of parents with children.
In August 2017, the Kiwi Farms forum, where rumors about Internet celebrities are discussed, launched a thread about the Schofield family. Users noticed Susan’s strange behavior in dealing with children and called it physical and emotional abuse. They noticed that the mother turned to different doctors for prescriptions and was trying to get strong neuroleptics, which, in her opinion, are needed by children. Reddit created a / c / SchofieldCabanaAbuse with discussions of the Schofield family.
On rollers from the channel Susan, users learned which pills and in what doses children take. On the channel The Schofield Lie laid out cutting video, where it was noticeable that the health and behavior of children deteriorated over the years. On YouTube, graphics were built with body dosages. Users worried that the boy did not undergo a normal psychiatric examination. Susan took him to different doctors and received different prescriptions after each visit.
It seemed to many that the problems of the Body were not connected with schizophrenia, but with an overdose of antipsychotics. Their constant use can lead to tardive dyskinesia – involuntary movements similar to Tourette syndrome. Overdose can also increase the tendency to seizures, convulsions and inhibited behavior.
Social networks have suggested that Susan Schofield suffers from delegated Munchhausen syndrome. With him, parents or guardians deliberately provoke painful conditions in the child or invent them to constantly seek medical help.
The authorities took the children from their mother after a talk show
In 2019, the father of children Michael decided to return to the show of Dr. Phil. The episode was aired in March. In addition to children’s health, the presenters discussed Susan’s channel on YouTube.
Mother did not agree with the fact that she exploits children. In her opinion, she “exploits the mental health care system.” The issue revealed that Susan took his son to 50 doctors, so that at least one of them diagnosed Schizophrenia in Body. She admitted to suffering from bipolar disorder.
She shot Body in the shower and in the toilet. She claims that she is shooting these videos in order to draw attention to mental health issues, but I don’t think I want to teach anyone anything. I think her goal is to make money, because she lives on money from advertising.
The host noted that Susan was giving children clozapine, an antipsychotic drug that is prescribed to schizophrenics as a last resort, if they are not helped by other drugs. The host of the TV show agreed to help the family only if the mother removed the channel. After the release of the release, the channel was indeed removed, but Susan said that she would continue to shoot her documentary after the children were helped.
After the show went on the air, the authorities intervened. On March 10, the children were taken away from custody by Susan. Michael said that Jani and Bodie are temporarily in the shelter and undergo psychological examinations, and the Los Angeles court forbade parents to disclose information about the progress of the case to the media. Allegations of child abuse have not been filed by Schofield yet.
In The Verge noted that the platform has long been a problem with the problem of family blogs. In 2017, the guardianship bodies selected children from the creators of the FamilyOFive channel. Parents abused minors under the guise of “pranks” and beat them. In 2019, the leading channel Fantastic Adventures was accused of forcing children to take ice baths and sprinkled pepper spray on their genitals. In each case, the high level of competition on the platform and the popularity of shock content pushed the parents to abuse their children, journalists suggested.