P.E.I. could do more to help autistic Islanders and their families, if it had more money, says the province's community services minister.

Valerie Docherty appeared before a legislative committee Friday that is examining the needs of autistic Islanders. Docherty told the committee a shortage of money is having a direct impact on what the province can offer.

"I think most parents, although respite is important, if they knew that there were other supports out there that could ensure that their child developed further along then what they might be doing at this point in time, they'd love to be able to grab onto to that," she said.

"That's where we have the difficulty, in knowing that do we have enough money out there, and I know we don't."

Docherty said the province assists 242 clients, including children and adults. Families receive between $400 and $3,100 a month, depending on their needs.