The Study to Explore Early Development (SEED): A Multisite Epidemiologic Study of Autism by the Centers for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology (CADDRE) Network
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- Schendel, D.E., DiGuiseppi, C., Croen, L.A. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (2012) 42: 2121. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1461-8
The Study to Explore Early Development (SEED), a multisite investigation addressing knowledge gaps in autism phenotype and etiology, aims to: (1) characterize the autism behavioral phenotype and associated developmental, medical, and behavioral conditions and (2) investigate genetic and environmental risks with emphasis on immunologic, hormonal, gastrointestinal, and sociodemographic characteristics. SEED uses a case–control design with population-based ascertainment of children aged 2–5 years with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and children in two control groups—one from the general population and one with non-ASD developmental problems. Data from parent-completed questionnaires, interviews, clinical evaluations, biospecimen sampling, and medical record abstraction focus on the prenatal and early postnatal periods. SEED is a valuable resource for testing hypotheses regarding ASD characteristics and causes.