One in every 65 students has a diagnosis of autism according to the recently released National Council for Special Education (NCSE) report.
This equates to approximately 14,000 students, much higher than the one in every 100 previously estimated.
The report is the first major report published by the body on the education of students with autism in almost 14 years.
€300m is being invested annually on extra support for children living with autism according to the National Council for Special Education.
The report follows the news that three centres for people with autism were taken over by the HSE amid concerns about the welfare of residents.
Theresa Griffin, CEO national council for special education, has said it is crucial that people with autism receive the correct support: “Well, both centres were for adults and this report is for students who are in school however there is a central theme which is the importance of staff and teachers who are supporting students or adults with autism.
“They must be highly skilled professionals who know and understand autism.”