Assessing salicylate tolerance

Although salicylate intolerance can be a problem at all ages it is normally of concern among ADHD children. The problem is often how to assess sensitivity. The following suggestions come from the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group Journal.

Pre-school children: Eliminate salicylates for 5-7 days and get the child to colour in a colouring book. Notice how well he/she stays inside the lines. Now give a salicylate that you think is ‘safe’ several times within 48 hours and get them to colour the book again. Did the ability to stay inside the lines change?

In a very small child the change might not be from inside the lines but from some semblance of order to scribbling all over the page. Under two or three years of age, watch to see if the ability to put one block on top of another changes.

School age: Again, eliminate the salicylates for 5-7 days and have the child do a handwriting sample, spelling or maths test. Then give the salicylates several times within 48 hours and repeat the test. If this sample is sloppy, letters reversed or incomplete, suspect the salicylates as having an effect on perception or motor ability.

First published in October 2007

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