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Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities

Study to Explore Early Development (SEED)

SEED: Enrolling Families for Phase II

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Want to ask a Question or Enroll?

Call us at 1-877-868-8014 or click the link below to send us an email.

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The Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities is proud to be one of six U.S. sites for the Study to Explore Early Development, a research project funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find the causes of autism that may be related to genetic and environmental risk factors. 

In Maryland, SEED began recruiting families in 2008, enrolling mothers and their children ages 2 to 5. Nearly 600 Maryland families took part in that first phase of SEED.  Now, we are excited to announce a second phase of SEED, which started in spring 2012 and continues to enroll interested families.

Our center would like to thank the hundreds of families and children who have generously volunteered for the first phase of SEED.  We also would like to thank our partners in the study: the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Maryland State Department of Education, all of whom have made SEED successful!  The first paper, about how the SEED study was conducted, was published in March 2012.  More results will be published in coming months and years. 

Enrollment in SEED II began in spring 2012. Some families in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties who have a child ages 2 to 5 will receive a mailed invitation to take part in SEED II. However, families who live in those areas and have a 2- to 5-year-old with a documented developmental delay (including an autism spectrum disorder) may contact SEED II directly if they wish to enroll. Participating families receive no-cost developmental testing by researchers.   

Read more about this national research study here

To learn more, visit

How can I refer my child  for SEED? 

1) Contact our staff so we can see if you are eligible. Call 1-877-868-8014 or email

2) Have your child's physician, psychologist, or early intervention provider complete a referral form. We can mail it to you or your child's service provider, or you can download it here.    

3) Mail the form to Michelle Landrum, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Attn: SEED II, 615 N. Wolfe St., Room W2508, Baltimore, MD 21205

Want to spread the word in your community? Download, print and post this flier and a study handout in your area.

Read newsletters from SEED:

Facts about the SEED Study


What is SEED?

SEED stands for Study to Explore Early Development. The study will look at possible causes and risks for developmental delays and autism spectrum disorders (ASDS).

Centers from six states are taking part in the study: California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Maryland SEED is being done by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

SEED is a resea​rch study with the goals of learning:

Children 2 through 5 years old will be asked to take part in the study. Included will be families of:

It is important for all invited families to take part so we can learn more about differences in child development. Your participation will help us look for genes and other factors that might be related to autism and developmental delays.

What Will Your Family Gain From Taking Part in SEED?

The first phase of SEED included nearly 2,700 children and their parents. Researchers want to enroll just as many children and parents for the second phase, creating a data set of nearly 6,000 children and adults!

What Will you Be Asked to Do?

Any information you give to SEED will be kept strictly private. It will never be shared with anyone else. Only study staff and you will be able to look at your information.

Who can be part of SEED?

Children who were:

Who is Participating
in SEED?

Researchers in Maryland, Pennslyvania, California, Colorado, Georgia and North Carolina.