Goal 1: To understand the health and behavior of young children

pexels-photo-87324To better understand if certain health or behavioral characteristics are found in all children or only those with developmental issues or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this study will evaluate and compare:

  • Temperament and behavior
  • Cognitive development level
  • Health issues
  • Physical development: Height, weight and head size

Goal 2: To explore infection and immune function within families

Researchers will study whether certain illness patterns within a family increase the risk for ASD. We will ask families about specific diseases or conditions they might have.

Goal 3: To explore medical issues during pregnancy and how they relate to developmental delays or ASD

Some pregnancy complications may affect a child’s development. Researchers will ask the mother details about her pregnancy.

Goal 4: To explore the role of genetics in autism or other ASD

The circumstances surrounding the development of ASD may depend on the presence of certain genetic traits. To collect genetic material, researchers will ask families to provide saliva samples. SEED researchers will seek additional funding to examine possible genetic aspects of autism or other developmental issues. This long term goal does not allow us to provide genetic reports to families.

stocksnap_34lmi1479hGoal 5: To explore how family characteristics and behaviors are related to developmental delays and ASD

We want to explore whether certain lifestyle factors might affect a child’s development or risk for ASD. Families will complete questionnaires and interviews including questions about parents’ lifestyle both during the pregnancy and during the child’s early years.

Goal 6: To create a bank of biological samples and data for future studies of developmental issues and ASD

We will ask families for permission to securely save their information and samples for future research. This will allow researchers to look at the information in new ways when new tests are developed but still protect families’ privacy.