One of the biggest areas of growth in the education industry right now is for companies offering services to the autism community. In 2000, there were 100,000 cases of autism in the United States – today, that number is estimated to be 500,000. Of course, in a pure business sense, 100,000 cases spread across the country doesn’t really make for a viable commercial market, but the rapid increase in autism cases means that a real market is emerging in autism, and so are accompanying investment opportunities. It’s been estimated that parents are spending $40K to $60K on average for each child, while school districts are spending about $25K – about $75K in total for every child with autism. Even using a more conservative total of $40K per child, that makes for a potential $20 billion industry for the 500,000 children in the United States alone.
Of course, nowhere near $20 billion is being spent today, which means there is still a lot of room for growth as the autism industry begins to expand – and that there are certain to be a lot of opportunities in the market for savvy investors who see how big this issue is becoming and how much can be done to improve the quality of life for children with autism and their families. Of course, one great case in point in this area is Arc’s Portfolio company AutismPro, which has developed an entire range of tools designed to help educators, administrators and parents build a customized way to maximize an individual student’s success. AutismPro is certainly a top example, but the bigger point is that the autism industry is poised for growth across the board after the explosive growth in autism cases over the last decade.