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Case StudySSPAutismDisordered EatingSensory SensitivityTestimonial

Case Study: SSP helps reduce toddler with autism’s picky eating

🕑 2 minutes read
Posted May 6, 2022

About the Provider

Name: April R.
Discipline/Credentials: Occupational Therapist, OTR/L
Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)

Client Background

Name: MF (pseudonym)
Age and Gender: Two years and nine months old, male
Diagnoses and Conditions: Autism
Program Delivered: Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)
(SSP Core, Hours 1 through 3)

MF has a diagnosis of autism. He is non-verbal, a picky eater, and does not engage in play on his own, in addition to having poor eye contact. Outside of his family, he is avoidant of others touching him. He also has sensory issues with water, hair brushing and food.

MF’s mom brought him to April with the goal of increasing his communication, decreasing his sensory issues, and getting him to participate in play with others.

Implementation of the SSP

Treatment took place in his home environment, in his bedroom with his toys. The SSP was delivered in person with co-listening, as he would not tolerate headphones on his head. April sees him weekly, and he would have 30 minutes at each session during play with April and his mom. April would have his mom perform sensory interventions during therapy and have her sign in order for him to communicate back to her.


Since using the SSP, MF has been able to increase his eye contact and has been trying new mixed, textured foods, such as breakfast casserole and taco pie. He has initiated play on his own, and has begun mimicking words back to his mom and using his signs to request things he wants. He now allows April to hug him, sits in her lap during sessions and smiles, and will take her hand to walk her to the door after sessions together.

MF also sees a speech therapist and, since the SSP, his mom reports that he now shows improved engagement with his speech therapy.


April and MF’s mom are elated at the progress he’s made with his foods and actions.

“It was so amazing [that] I used the SSP Core Adult on my son, who also has autism,” April said. “He has increased his choices of foods, including eating raw beets and fruits. He has decreased his irritability and anger.”

“I truly believe that the SSP resets the nervous system, and has MF and my son feeling safe rather than being in constant fight or flight,” she added. “I also believe that it has worked the middle ear and cranial nerves, allowing them to try more foods without anxiety.”

Discover the Safe and Sound Protocol

Developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the SSP is a non-invasive acoustic vagus nerve stimulator that helps clients connect with themselves, others, and the world from a foundation of physiological safety.

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