Hankook Ilbo: A Balanced View of the World

“I called Dr. ○○○ of ○○ University Hospital, a specialist in autism, to ask for medical treatment, and I received a disappointing and absurd reply that the booking was full until November 2024. That was September 2021.” These are the complaints left by the parents of a person with autism spectrum disorder in the Hankook Ilbo questionnaire. It is orthodox that the earlier rehabilitation treatment begins for developmental disabilities (intellectual and autistic), the better the prognosis. Recently, research results have also been published which show that treatment must start before the age of 3 to be effective. However, children with developmental disabilities miss the golden time for early intervention amidst the severe imbalance between supply and demand of specialists in related fields. In mid-September, a reporter from Ilbo’s Hankook Minority Team made inquiries to famous autism experts. All of them replied, “Order itself is not available at this time.” Geun-ah Cheon, professor of pediatric psychiatry at Dismissal Hospital, said doubts are already full by 2027, Bung-nyeon Kim, professor of pediatric psychiatry at Seoul National University Hospital, and Hee-jeong Yoo, professor of psychiatry at Bundang Hospital of Seoul National University , by 2024. Of course, treatment is also available in local hospitals and clinics. However, many parents go to a renowned specialist at a university hospital ‘grasping at straws’. I want an accurate and detailed diagnosis, and I want advice on the direction of developmental rehabilitation treatment. As a result of a survey conducted by the Hankook Ilbo, when using a tertiary medical institution (tertiary general hospital) as a university hospital, the respondents who waited more than a year after receiving the application were the highest in Jeju (27.9%), Gyeonggi ( 19.7%), and Seoul (18.4%) respectively. It was followed by Gwangju (18.2%) and Incheon (14.8%). There is no tertiary general hospital in Jeju, and the metropolitan area has good medical infrastructure. In Gyeongbuk, no one answered, ‘I waited more than a year’, but there are 5 tertiary general hospitals in Daegu and Gyeongbuk. It is better than Gangwon (2 locations), Chungbuk (1 location), Jeonbuk (2 locations), Gwangju/Jeonnam and Daejeon/Chungnam (3 locations each). The proportion of those who said they had waited ‘more than 3 months’ for primary and secondary medical institutions such as clinics and hospitals was also more than 30% in Jeju (52.4%), Incheon (33.3%), Seoul (31.1%) , and Busan (30.2%). Choi Eun-hee (pseudonym), who is raising a 5-year-old child with intellectual disability and autism, said, “I also stayed two or three months at the university hospital (where I live) in Gwangju, but in Seoul, the default is one year, so I can’t even think about it.” “Children with developmental disabilities In a year or so, his condition tends to get worse. Parents want to receive treatment from famous teachers, but everyone gets tired of waiting and giving up,” she said bitterly. Kim Geum-hwa, 35, who lives in North Gyeongsang Province, was also frustrated when he tried to take the developmental test of his 45-month-old son who was diagnosed with autism last year. “When I inquired in May this year, the earliest hospital was in November, and the better Yeungnam University Hospital in Daegu had to wait over a year.” In the end, I chose a hospital where the test could be done quickly. In Korea, there are few specialists who have studied developmental disabilities. According to the Korean Academy of Pediatric Psychiatry, there are less than 400 pediatric psychiatrists, and even those have are concentrated in the metropolitan area. There are a total of 266 hospitals nationwide with pediatric psychiatrists, and 68% are located in Seoul (111), Gyeonggi (58), and Incheon (12). There are only three in Jeollanam-do and two each in Gyeongbuk and Sejong. Access to tertiary general hospitals is also a problem. As a result of this survey, half of the respondents traveled to tertiary medical institutions by car from Jeonnam (65.6%), Sejong (59.4%), Gyeongbuk (59.1%), Chungnam (59.1%), and North Chungcheong (55.6%) by car for more than 2 hours each way It was more than that. “When I was young, I went to Hongcheon, Gangwon-do for rehab, and I went to Chuncheon and Wonju for rehab treatment, and I went to Severance in Seoul for treatment h medical.” It’s too difficult” (Daegu), “It’s a long way to go to the hospital in rural areas only once every two or three months, so I’m too tired” (Gyeongbuk). There are few specialists and hospitals, so parents struggle with a ‘lack of knowledge’. This is especially true for parents of young children. Kim Ji-hoon, a pediatric psychiatrist and head of the Center for Promotion of Behavioral Development at Pusan ​​National University, Yangsan, said, “There are many unproven treatments on the market, but parents believe in them and spend a few years passing on the market. golden time. university hospitals should introduce a standard for developmental rehabilitation treatment “he emphasized. According to him, ‘Intensive treatment is recommended 20 times a week between the ages of 3 and 5′ for an autistic disorder. The Center for the Promotion of Behavioral Development is a specialist medical organization that reduces problematic behaviors and helps socially adapt the developmentally disabled who show self-harm. At the moment, there are only 10 centers across the country Kim Dong-ok, a parent with developmental disabilities who runs a private development center in Seoul, said, “(After the child’s diagnosis), if parents who didn’t receive the right information at first start wandering, they spend two or three years looking at the center’s sign board and spending expensive money. It’s easy to go to school. That’s why I pay special attention to parents’ education.” A parent raising a 6-year-old autistic child in Gyeonggi-do said, “Of course, there is no organization to get information (related to treatment and parenting), and there is no control (private center).” don’t know if the place is certified or has a certificate, but if they say, ‘Someone is talking here’, the parents go crazy.” A respondent in Sejong also said , “Parents who first find out about their child’s disability are very confused. It would be good to notify anyone where a child is, such as daycare centers, nursery schools, and schools. “It’s hard to get access to. and lack of publicity.” Support centers for people with developmental disabilities have been set up in 18 places (central and 17 districts) across the country to provide tailored welfare links and information, but their rate of use is still low. The ‘individual support plan service’, which guides and monitors services through consultation with experts, is one of the core projects of the support centre, which is one of the core projects of the support centre, which guides and monitors services through consultation with experts, no but few Choi Bok-cheon, a rehabilitation professor at Jeonju National University, who served as the first director of the Central Support Center for Disabled Children and Developmental Disabilities, said, “In Korea, there are various services such as daytime activities, activity support, and vouchers are provided segmentally, and the support center (which should become the control tower) is not in It is a situation where there is no co-ordinating function that can really influence from because there is no administrative authority and financial grant authority,” he explained. Korea is late in discovering developmental disabilities. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s ‘Developmental Disabilities Survey 2021’, the average age at which a (suspected) disability was discovered was 7.3 years, 3.1 years for autistic disorder, and 7.9 years for intellectual disability. The average age for diagnosis of disability was 11.8 years old, 4.6 years old for autistic disorder and 12.8 years old for intellectual disability. It is much later than age 3, which is considered the right time for early intervention. The government is researching and examining measures to improve the rapid and reliable detection of developmental disabilities in infant health examinations. Even now, developmental screening tests are performed 6 times from 9 to 12 months of age to 6 years of age, but there are evaluations that parents check the questionnaire directly and that there are limitations on the test items. However, there is no fundamental solution to the shortage of specialists and hospitals. Euijin Shin, professor of pediatric psychiatry in the Department of Dismissal, said, “Although the infant screening system has been improved, there is no expertise (manpower) and infrastructure to detect problem children early.” Screening of babies and infants is mainly performed in paediatrics, but in reality, as paediatrics specializes in ‘physical development’, it is difficult to carry out thorough screening without additional education related to ‘mental development’ such as sociality and cognition. Professor Shin emphasized the need for a system for nurturing specialists such as additional training or establishing a national academy for field workers in the field of infant mental health, such as pediatricians and pediatric psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and teachers. He explained, “There is no infrastructure, but only vouchers are distributed. In the United States, pediatric psychiatrists are considered a publicly required workforce, and each state government provides a lot of support during training.” ▶ Interactive Shortcut: Click to see the full results of the 1,071 survey. If the click does not work, copy the address ( https://interactive.hankookilbo.com/v/disability/ ) and enter it in the search bar. ◆1071 people with developmental disabilities miss the golden hour looking for infrastructure Pour money into the poor poison Lack of workforce supply, quantity and quality

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