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SEED II Announcement

Dad holding toddler sonNCBDDD Launches Second Phase of Multistate Study on Autism $5.25 Million Awarded to Five Sites.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funding the largest multistate collaborative study in the United States to help identify factors that may put children at risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other developmental disabilities. So far, approximately 2,700 children and their parents are a part of the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED).

CDC has awarded funding to the study sites so that more families can be enrolled. This will enhance SEED’s ability to perform in-depth analysis of some research questions that require very large numbers of participants to answer. The SEED sites are beginning to invite families into this second phase of enrollment in the study. Visit, or see the information for each site listed below to learn more.

The research sites are

  • Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in California;
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colorado;
  • Johns Hopkins University in Maryland;
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the
  • University of Pennsylvania.

These sites make up the Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE) Network. CDC also is participating in the Georgia SEED site of the study, which includes children and their parents from the metropolitan Atlanta area.

“We are so grateful to the thousands of families who have participated in SEED and the community and advocacy organizations that have partnered with SEED to make this important research possible,” said Dr. Coleen Boyle, Director, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC.

SEED’s main research goals are to compare young children (2 through 5 years of age) who have ASDs, children who have developmental problems other than ASDs, and children in the general population without a developmental disability. This comparison will yield a better understanding of the characteristics of ASDs and genetic and environmental factors that might affect child development. In SEED, the environmental factors studied are very broad and include characteristics of the pregnancy, the birth and newborn period, and the first few years of life to see what might affect a child’s risk for having an ASD. A key strength of SEED is its ability to look not only at detailed information on the characteristics of ASDs, but also at environmental and genetic factors at the same time to see how they all interact.

The information will be obtained by directly evaluating the children using several established developmental instruments and procedures, conducting interviews with the mothers, reviewing medical records, and collecting saliva and blood samples from the children and their parents.

“While we know that no one study will have all the answers, SEED will contribute to our understanding of the complex risk factors for autism,” added Dr. Boyle.

SEED Study Sites

CALIFORNIA SEED is being done in: Alameda and Santa Clara Counties
Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
California Department of Public Health
Oakland, California
Toll free: 866-470-6115

COLORADO SEED is being done in the Denver metropolitan area: Arapahoe, Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties
JFK Partners
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus
Aurora, Colorado

GEORGIA SEED is being done in the Atlanta metropolitan area: Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Atlanta, Georgia

MARYLAND SEED is being done in: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties, and the city of Baltimore
Johns Hopkins University
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Baltimore, Maryland

NORTH CAROLINA SEED is being done in: Alamance, Chatham, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Johnston, Orange, Randolph, and Wake Counties
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Toll free: 866-633-8003

PENNSYLVANIA SEED is being done in: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Toll free: 855-516-0371

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