SEED stands for the Study to Explore Early Development.

SEED is the largest epidemiological study to-date designed to compare children with autism and other developmental delays to children without these delays.

Results from SEED will help researchers to better understand the health and behavior of young children with autism and to identify factors that contribute to autism.

We are currently seeking families from central North Carolina to participate in SEED 3. You can learn if your family might be eligible by browsing this website and completing the INTEREST FORM, or you may contact us by phone or email.

Learn More about SEED 3.

What is SEED 3

map2We still don’t know a lot about the causes of ASD. Scientists think that both genes and the environment play a role, and there might be many causes that lead to ASD. SEED will help answer the many questions needed to find the causes of autism and—if possible—come up with strategies to prevent this complex disorder.

A person’s risk for almost any disorder depends on many factors including genes you inherit from your parents as well as environmental factors. Environmental factors are almost anything you are exposed to in your daily life – what you eat and drink, chemicals in the air and water, where you live and work, and whether you smoke or exercise. Scientists believe that even small differences in genes or environmental factors can affect whether you get a disorder or condition. In this research study we are trying to find out if that is also true for having developmental delays.

To look at many different types of families and environments, the study is being done by six research sites across the country. The North Carolina site is located at UNC Chapel Hill.

Learn More about SEED 3 Research Goals.

Study Team

Each study site across the country has multiple research scientists who are experts in certain areas.
Meet our Study Team.

Study Newsletter

NC SEEDLING and Study to Explore Early Development (Phase I & Phase II) Newsletters include information on parenting, helping a child with special needs and study updates.
Read SEED Newsletters.

Study Activities

If a family is eligible and decides to be in the study, the family will be asked to participate in several study activities.
Seed 3 Study Activities