SEED Teen

Teenage school kids smiling to camera in school hallway

SEED Teen was a pilot study that surveyed families of more than 800 children who previously participated in SEED 1. Children were between 12 and 16 years of age when they participated in SEED Teen. The goal of SEED Teen was to track the changes that occur from childhood to adolescence in teenagers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. The information gained from SEED Teen will help us understand how we can better support teenagers with ASD and their families.

Some topics in the SEED Teen survey were

  • Healthcare needs and utilization,
  • Education and social support needs, and
  • Family and financial support needs.

SEED Teen included families from sites located in Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. SEED Teen was a collaboration between CDC and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with assistance from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania.

What are we learning from SEED Teen?

An analysis published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report compared diagnoses of mental health and other conditions among adolescents with ASD to those of adolescents without ASD. The analysis also compared unmet healthcare needs between the two groups of adolescents. Adolescents with ASD were nearly two times more likely than adolescents without ASD to have an additional mental health or other condition and three times more likely to have unmet healthcare service needs. These results can let providers know about the unmet healthcare needs of adolescents with ASD. Programs that serve people with ASD as they move from child to adult health care can also be supported by these results. [Read article]

What’s next for SEED Teen?

CDC is expanding on the work of SEED Teen to launch a new phase of SEED, called SEED Follow-Up. This study will help us learn more about children enrolled in SEED 1, 2, and 3 as they mature. SEED Follow-Up is different from SEED Teen in that more children of different ages will be followed, and more in-depth information will be collected. This will help us learn even more about how we can help people with ASD and their families over time.