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Hyperactivity, Attention & Learning Problems (HALP) Clinic

The Hyperactivity, Attention and Learning Problems (HALP) Clinic specializes in identifying and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other disruptive behavior patterns in children ranging from preschool to college age. We also evaluate learning and emotional issues that often accompany such conditions. Typical symptoms of children referred to the HALP Clinic include problems at school, such as not meeting potential or difficulty fulfilling assignments or consistently following directions and rules; not completing homework and chores regularly and independently; defiant, disorganized or inattentive behavior; low self-esteem; and trouble forming or maintaining quality friendships.

Comprehensive evaluation

HALP offers a complete diagnostic workup examining major problems and disorders that can affect a child's ability to do well at school or home. A team of mental health professionals meets for a full day with the family for an evaluation, which will take into account extensive information about the child's functioning at home and in the classroom; the workup includes medical screening, diagnostic interviewing and psychological and neuropsychological testing. Because information from teachers is essential, we recommend scheduling diagnostic evaluations during the school year.

Superparenting 101

This course equips parents with techniques to help their children with behavior, learning or emotional problems. The teaching approach combines traditional parent training and specialized therapeutic skills training. We often teach parent and child courses on this topic at the same time.

Social and life skills training

This fun course teaches children skills for making and keeping friends, handling disappointments and getting along better with people. Kids also learn ways to become better organized and handle routine responsibilities like getting ready for school, being on time, managing homework and establishing good habits. The parents attend their own course at the same time to learn how to support their children in exercising these skills at home.

School consultations

HALP clinicians can visit a child's school if needed for classroom observation, teacher training or individualized education plan (IEP) staffing issues or to help a teacher design a behavioral program to improve academic productivity. We can provide technical advice on educational accommodations when these are appropriate under IDEA or Section 504. We frequently set up daily school-home report card arrangements as a way of teaming up parents and teachers to support a student's learning and behavior.


The HALP clinic's approach to medication is to provide as many facts to the parents as possible, then let the family decide what's best for the child. We offer information about what medications do and don't do, including all potential benefits and risks. If families who opt to try medication, we refer them to our medication assessment clinics, which can carefully follow and evaluate how a child responds.

Our locations (1)

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    Plan your visit

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    For visitors

    Before you head to the hospital, check out our guidelines for visitors and caregivers.


    Your Stay

    We offer valuable information to help you plan for your child's upcoming hospital stay. Find out about food services, family accommodations and more.

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    Your Child's Care Team

    Our doctors, nurses, child life specialists and other providers have special training to care for children. Meet your child's care team.

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    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

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    Related clinics (1)


    Psychiatry & Psychology Clinic

    Psychiatry & Psychology Clinic

    Oakland / San Francisco

    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.


    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.


    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.


    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.


    School Re-Entry Program

    We help kids return to school after hospitalization by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.


    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.


    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.


    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.


    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.


    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

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    Parents will assess ADHD symptoms using the CSI-4. The CSI-4: Parent Checklist contains 18 symptoms for ADHD, Combined type (ADHD:C; 18 items). Each symptom is rated on a 4-point scale (0= never to 3= very often). The average of A...


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