Culture affects how the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are perceived and addressed, and Korean culture has been affecting how individuals with ASD are perceived, diagnosed and treated in Korea, specifically the Republic of Korea. Stigmas about individuals with ASD have historically existed in Korean culture, and those stigmas have been affecting the diagnosis and social environment of individuals with ASD. Recent changes have been made to increase acceptance for individuals with ASD in Korea, but the literature has not yet brought this information together in a way that comprehensively portrays the current status of ASD perceptions, identification, intervention efforts, and research in Korea. We conducted a systematic review of American and Korean literature, and to add popular perspective, we also searched news articles that show the recent changes of the general environment for individuals with ASD in Korea and included 12 of them. A few general characteristics of the articles and findings were made into tables and a narrative synthesis was used to summarize the key findings of the research articles and the news articles. Results show there have been some positive changes improving education, diagnosis and treatment for individuals with ASD in Korea and there are a number of ASD research studies from Korea that were not published in English. While the majority of Korean language articles focused on ASD education and treatment, the majority of English articles focused on cultural impact, social perspectives, and diagnostic or screening tools for Korean people. Even with positive efforts of the government and researchers however, social stigmas Korean people have toward individuals with ASD are still affecting individuals with ASD and their families in Korea and in Korean immigrants to the USA. More education about understanding ASD in education or community settings for Korean people may further improve lives for individuals with ASD and their families.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





autism spectrum disorder, Korea, special education, diagnosis, treatment, stigma



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Education Commons