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A Survey on the Status of Hospital-Based Early Intensive Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder in South Korea
J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2017;28(4):213-219
Published online October 1, 2017
© 2017 Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Ju Young Lee1, Duk-Soo Moon1, Suk-Ho Shin2, Hee-Jung Yoo3, Hee-Jung Byun1, and Dong-Soo Suh1

1Department of Psychiatry, Seoul Metropolitan Children’s Hospital, Seoul, Korea
2Dr. Shin’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinic, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
Correspondence to: Dong-Soo Suh, Department of Psychiatry, Seoul Metropolitan Children’s Hospital, 260 Heolleung-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul 06801, Korea
Tel: +82-2-570-8001, Fax: +82-2-570-8324, E-mail:
Received December 19, 2016; Revised March 28, 2017; Accepted April 18, 2017.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objectives: Early intensive interventions are very important for children with autism spectrum disorder. We examined the actual conditions of hospital-based early intensive interventions for autism spectrum disorder in Seoul, in order to help develop and implement an evidence-based early intensive intervention model for use in Korea.
Methods: Nine hospital-based institutes running an early intensive intervention program for children with autism spectrum disorder responded to a questionnaire in September 2014. They provided a brief introduction to their program, explained its theoretical bases, and reported the number of children, their age, intervention time, duration and so on.
Results: In the majority of the institutions, the intervention was provided for over 20 hours every week, and the theoretical bases included various applied behavioral analysis (ABA) methods and other therapies (language and occupational therapy). The therapist-child ratio ranged from 1:1 to 5:3. Various types of therapists were involved, including behavioral analysts, special education teachers and (or) language pathologists. There was only one clinic where the behavioral analyst was the main therapist. Usually, the intervention was terminated just before the child entered elementary school. The main merit of the hospital-based intervention in our survey was the effectiveness of the multi-disciplinary intervention plan and its other merits were the accuracy of the diagnosis, its ability to be combined with medicine, and so on.
Conclusion: The current hospital-based early intensive intervention programs provide interventions for over 20 hours per week and employ multidisciplinary approaches. However, there are very few institutes for children with autism and very few intervention specialists and specialist education courses in the country. We need more educational programs for intervention therapists and have to try to develop policies which encourage the implementation of an evidence-based early intensive intervention program nationwide.
Keywords : Autism spectrum disorder; Early intensive intervention; Applied behavioral analysis (ABA), Hospital-based intervention.

October 2017, 28 (4)
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