The Government has today announced a €7.8 million initiative to clear the backlog of thousands of children waiting for assessments for autism and other conditions.
The HSE recently revealed that the average waiting time was 19 months - although parents say it's taking more than 3 years in some areas- despite a legal requirement for the assessment to be completed within 6 months.
The allocation of additional funding today will allow clinicians to work overtime at weekends and evening, as well as filling posts currently vacant due to maternity leave, and procuring private assessments.
Without an assessment of need, children are unable to access supports such as therapists and psychologists.
€159,000 of this funding is being allocated to the Mayo, Galway, Roscommon area towards alleviating the waiting lists.
Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte, says today's funding is targeted at children and families who are currently experiencing long waiting times for an Assessment of Need, and will ensure they're able to access follow-up services quicker.