Autism in South Korea: Autism diagnoses surprise South Korean families – latimes.com

Autism diagnoses take South Korea by surprise

Some families are in denial after U.S. and Korean researchers discover in a Seoul suburb the highest rate of autism ever measured in a general population. The disorder is considered shameful there.

Some simply viewed their children as late bloomers. Others refused to discuss or accept the diagnosis.

But many of the affected parents in Ilsan seemed to at least have an inkling when they were told for the first time that their son or daughter had a disorder that in South Korea had long been seen as shameful.

I’m so glad to see this getting attention, I just hope it is in the Korean media as well.

The article makes it sound like there has been no testing, treatment, and policy for identifying and working with autistic children. This is not correct. There are programs and referral practices in schools already. Teacher education programs are also adding classes on special needs learners that should help to identify children in need.

However, getting the news out to the general public is important. Not just that autism exists, but that they and their children can have better lives if identified and treated early. Not that there is a “cure”, but some interventions can help these children participate more fully in their world.

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