Parents caring for children with autism may not be getting the support they are entitled to from social services, it has been claimed.
Autism NI has indicated that many parents have not received the carer's assessment.
In an interview with the BBC, the charity noted that the extent of the problem may not yet have emerged.
Speaking to the corporation, Autism NI family support officer Paula Hanratty explained: "This is urgent - we know there are hundreds of families out there who are desperate for services, desperate for help, and they're not getting it."
Earlier this month, a damning report by Ofsted suggested that poor teaching in schools is to blame for the number of children being diagnosed as having special educational needs.
The regulator claimed that if teaching and learning were improved, fewer pupils would be diagnosed as having problems that affect learning, such as mild autism.
Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions.