Over 500 children have been waiting at least two years for their first assessment with a speech and language therapist.
A further 700 have been on the waiting list over 18 months.
Children often need speech and language therapy if they have communication issues, such as stuttering, or chewing or swallowing problems.
According to the HSE’s latest figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, there are 16,466 children on the waiting list.
3,685 have been waiting over a year for an initial assessment, including 516 on the list for at least two years.
Of those waiting 24 months or more, 384 are in CHO 7, which involves Kildare, west Wicklow and parts of west and south Dublin.
Tanya Ward, the chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance says the number of kids waiting two years is a disgrace, noting “It’s a shocking figure and it’s very serious because with speech and language if you delay providing a child with an assessment it essentially means you’re also delaying them getting access to therapy and that will have a big effect on them later in life, it will have a big effect on how they do in early year settings, how they do in primary school, how they do in secondary school and it will certainly mean they’ll never reach their full potential”.
1.085 children in Dublin have been waiting at least a year, many other regions throughout the country also have long waiting lists.
KCLR News has contacted the HSE requesting a breakdown of figures for Carlow and Kilkenny.