Dec 10, 2018, Forbes: Investor Overview: Autism Services https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbooksauthors/2018/12/10/investor-overview-autism-services/#203c88d88bc0 Favorable market trends that have already translated into big gains for the behavioral health industry are continuing to attract investment. Factors such as legislative reforms and expanded insurance coverage spurred impressive growth in the behavioral health space for the past five years, and forecasts expect such trends to continue. This area of behavioral health is of particular interest to many investors due to its rapidly growing market and incredible potential for social impact. As a consultant who advises private equity firms looking to invest in this industry, I am often asked similar questions by potential investors. I have used some of these questions to craft a brief overview of the autism services industry and where it is heading. What does the market for services look like? The autism services market is estimated to be worth around $5 billion to $7 billion annually and it’s growing, with a total addressable market estimated between $50 billion and $90 billion. The majority of the services provided to individuals with autism are behavioral services and are provided at home, in school, or in a clinic setting. Most of these services are based on the science of applied behavior analysis, or ABA, which is a scientific method that employs specific techniques and principles to impart skills and bring about meaningful changes in behavior. ABA is the most widely funded treatment option that private insurance companies, or state or federal programs, will cover. Currently, 1 in every 59 children is diagnosed with autism according to the CDC with other evidence supporting a prevalence rate of 1 in 45. That’s nearly 2.5 percent of the US population – around 8 million individuals. Unfortunately, there are likely many missed diagnoses or individuals who are otherwise unaccounted for, particularly in lower-income communities. That means the prevalence of autism will likely continue to rise. The industry is already averaging 3.9 percent annual growth; as more payers enter the market and demand continues to rise, the rate of growth can only increase. …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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