Over 130 children in the midlands are facing a four year wait for an autism assessment.
That's according to research carried out by the Irish Independent which found a further 1,000 will likely have to wait up to three years.
CHO area 8 which includes Longford and Westmeath are recording the longest wait times while a backlog of 18 months has been recorded in the Roscommon/Galway area.
While, the community healthcare area which includes Leitrim is seeing an average wait time of 17 months.
The investigation also found parents are being forced to pay thousands to private psychologists, with warnings some families are 'wide open' to exploitation.
James Spalding's 4-year-old son has autism, and he says he got an initial diagnosis through a private provider.
''The assessment will facilitate getting access to, for example, appropriate schooling, although I knew that the waiting lists were going to be so long that my son will actually age out of them. Like for example, he's four right now. And the time that was given on the assessment of need statement was, August 2027. He was born in 2018.''