SEEDS Program


Successful children and adolescents have mastered a basic set of social and emotional skills for understanding themselves and relating to others. SEEDS is a comprehensive and integrated framework that helps them reach these important developments. We like to describe the SEEDS concept using four common phases of gardening:

1. Planting – An initial diagnostic assessment
2. Watering – 12 weekly instructional sessions
3. Pruning – A field-based observation and review with teachers and parents
4. Harvesting – A summary evaluation with parents that details achievements by the student and areas for continued practice

Learn details of each phase in the program below!

1. Planting

The initial phase entails a comprehensive assessment of the student’s developmental strengths, opportunities, and liabilities in four main realms:


  • What emotions predominate a child’s experience? What emotions might be avoided?
  • How aware are they of them, and how well can they be described?
  • How does a child regulate aversive emotions?


  • At what general level is a student functioning relative to his/her peers?
  • Is there a particular strength in one of the component domains?
  • What type of setting and activity promotes optimal learning for the student?

Social functioning

  • How sensitive or attuned is a student to his/her social setting?
  • How well – and in what ways – does a student relate to his peers?
  • What settings facilitate active engagement? What settings produce the most anxiety?

Identity development

  • How is a student progressing along the normal course of identity development with regard to individuation from the family, identification with peers, and exploration of personal interests?
  • How does a student make sense of the personality features that differentiate them from their peers?

The assessment process is a dynamic engagement that benefits students, caregivers and therapists. Students receive a tangible experience of self-reflection and self-evaluation; parents gain an understanding about why their children behave as they do; and therapists conducting the evaluation develop a clear sense about what skills deserve targeting in the ensuing phase.

2. Watering

The second and most substantial phase of the SEEDS program is made up of weekly practice sessions to learn about and practice the specific skills identified as needing attention. A typical session is organized by a learning objective; discussion of a problem; a creative activity for practice – such as storytelling, role playing or art; immediate feedback, and a final review. Students respond well to the structure and variety of fun and creative activities.

Caregivers are consulted at set intervals to ensure that progress is being made as expected. Recommendations and feedback are welcomed, and adaptations are made as requested.

3. Pruning

Application of learned skills is different from practice in the classroom. The third phase extends skills practice and evaluation into the natural environments where students spend most of their time: at home and in school. Your child’s therapist will visit both locations to spend time observing the student in order to help answer these questions:

  • What problems were encountered?
  • How did the child respond (particularly with regard to the skills identified)?
  • What features of the situation might have enabled a more effective response?

The design of field observation is to aid in the generalization of skills learned in the therapy room.

4. Harvesting

Your child will have worked hard to understand and apply new behaviors. The final phase consists of a summary review meeting with the parents to highlight major achievements. These are presented in detail form with a packet of resources to carry home. In addition, we will offer recommendations for continued practice that you can extend on your own. Your packet will include a list of exercises, worksheets and recommended web and print resources for additional education.

BONUS: Check-Ups for Hiccups!

We understand that change occurs gradually, and we want to support you every step of the way. As part of the SEEDS program, we offer two follow-up phone appointments within 6 months to discuss any ‘hiccups’ you might have encountered while supporting your child’s learning and practice of these important skills.

Contact us by filling out our online form or call us at: (267) 861-3685, option 1.