The number of children on the waiting list in Kerry for speech and language therapy currently stands at 628. That’s according to the HSE which was responding to questions from Kerry South Independent TD, Tom Fleming. A further seventy children in the county are waiting to be assessed as to whether they’re on the autistic spectrum. The HSE says it is seeking funding to reduce the waiting times for those awaiting assessment. 300 of the 628 children on the list have been waiting for up to four months to see a speech and language therapist. No child is currently waiting for more than a year for assessment. Deputy Tom Fleming also got figures from the Health Service Executive which showed that 44 children in the county are waiting for intervention with a further 40 awaiting assessment in relation to the Kerry Intervention and Disability Teams. The HSE says it has submitted business cases to the Department of Health for additional funding to put an initiative in place to reduce the length of waiting times for speech and language therapy. It says that if such funding is received it will target it at those waiting the longest wherever possible. Speech and language therapy in Kerry is delivered through centres in Tralee, Killarney, Listowel, Caherciveen, Castleisland, Kenmare and Dingle.