Jani and Bodhi Schofield Made Headlines as Schizophrenic Children — Where Are They Now?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jan. 10 2024, Published 4:36 p.m. ET

Looking back at the craziest stories from the past few decades, some of us might remember the Schofield family. Susan Schofield first brought her daughter, Jani Schofield, into the limelight in a 2009 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, claiming that the then-7-year-old was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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However, after Susan believed Jani’s little brother, Bodhi, was also schizophrenic and began sharing intimate moments of his life with her YouTube followers, people started to get skeptical about what was actually true. It seemed more like Susan had Munchausen syndrome by proxy and that her husband at the time, Michael, enabled her. But in 2019, everything changed. So what happened to Jani and Bodhi Schofield?

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Jani and Bodhi Schofield were removed from their parents’ care in 2019.

As Susan began sharing more and more videos of Jani and Bodhi, viewers had some cause for concern. Bodhi’s development started to regress instead of progress as Susan medicated him more and more. She admitted that she went “doctor shopping,” which means that she’d go to many different doctors to try to get the diagnosis she sought for Bodhi.

Doctors first diagnosed him as autistic, but she was convinced that like Jani, Bodhi had schizophrenia. She went to various doctors to request the antipsychotics she believed were necessary for her son, despite his youth and doctors’ lack of an official schizophrenia diagnosis. But viewers quickly noticed that Bodhi’s “symptoms” seemed more like side effects of overmedication, such as seizures and his catatonic state.

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This led viewers to start a thread on Kiwi Farms, detailing every bit of information revealed about the Schofield family. Both Susan and Michael were diagnosed with bipolar disorder before they met, and there are accounts that Welfare Services were often called to their house because of loud arguments.

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Evidence of Susan’s supposed Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a psychiatric condition in which a parent makes their child sicker to garner sympathy from the community, is also present. When the Schofields first put Jani in the spotlight, there was plenty of media attention (and likely money). As that diminished, Susan posted more and more on YouTube, and Michael left in 2015.

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Michael moved to Minnesota and remarried. But by 2019, through Susan’s videos, he saw that her treatment of their kids was so bad that he asked Dr. Phil to intervene. Since Jani had already appeared on Dr. Phil, he agreed. Susan took down the channel under Dr. Phil’s recommendation, but shortly after, news broke that Jani and Bodhi were removed from her and Michael’s custody.

Now, Bodhi is living with a foster family while Jani is back with Susan.

After Child Protective Services stepped in, Jani and Bodhi were put in group homes and foster families. At the time, Michael’s Facebook messages with Patheos (via The Verge) revealed, “As far as I know right now, they are in a shelter … They believe that Susan was exaggerating Bodhi’s symptoms because she believes he has schizophrenia. As for why they took Jani too, I was told it was because she was giving Jani Thorazine and because of her negative influence on Jani.”

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Since then, little information about the family’s whereabouts has been verified, but we’ve been able to dig up some details thanks to Reddit and the aforementioned Kiwi Farms thread. Michael anonymously shared (via Reddit) that Bodhi went to a foster family, was diagnosed with autism, and is seemingly thriving. Jani was “improving in the girls' home” but she went back to her mom.

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After she turned 18, Jani was given the option to go back to her mom since she was no longer a minor. Allegedly, she repeatedly said in court that she didn’t want to return to her mother, so followers of the case believe that Jani must have been manipulated into it somehow. In fact, Jani was also diagnosed with autism. Many people believe that her other symptoms are side effects of long-term use of antipsychotics as a child.

Jani is now making videos again with her mom, seemingly doing well, although she did start taking high doses of medicine again under Susan’s supervision. Susan is trying to go to law school to fight back against CPS, calling the government organization a child trafficking scheme. On Facebook, Susan revealed that she and Jani will co-host a podcast to discuss the “evils” of CPS and the Division of Family and Child Services.

All we can say is that we hope both Jani and Bodhi are happy and healthy.

If you or someone you know needs help, use SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find support for mental health and substance use disorders in your area or call 1-800-662-4357 for 24-hour assistance.

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