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Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities

Study to Explore Early Development (SEED)

SEED: Enrolling Families for Phase 3 in Early 2017

Coming soon...

Respond to invitation letter

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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.  Progress continued in SEED II, which started in spring 2012 and ended enrollment in November 2015. We again will participate in another round of SEED, called SEED 3, which we anticipate will begin enrollment in spring 2017.  Select families will be invited through our recruitment partners and will have the option of responding online at this site, sending in a postage-paid response card, emailing us at or texting us. Please note that email and text communication is not encrypted by default.

Our center would like to thank the hundreds of families and children who have generously volunteered for SEED I and II. 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. 

As in SEED II, 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.   

Read more about this national research study here

To learn more, visit

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).

For SEED 3, centers from six states are taking part in the study: Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. 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?

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 3?

We will send invitation packets to certain families of children who were:

Who is Participating
in SEED?

Researchers in Maryland, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.