Hyperactivity, Attention & Learning Problems Clinic

The Hyperactivity, Attention and Learning Problems (HALP) Clinic specializes in identifying and treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other disruptive behavior problems in children ranging from preschool to college age. We also evaluate learning and emotional problems that often accompany these conditions. Typical problems seen in children referred to the HALP Clinic include: Problems at school (not working up to potential, difficulty completing and turning in assignments or trouble following rules and directions consistently), not completing homework and chores regularly and independently, defiant behavior, disorganized and inattentive behavior, low self-esteem or problems making or keeping good quality friendships.

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Comprehensive Evaluation

HALP offers a complete diagnostic workup that covers 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 to gather all the information needed for the evaluation, including medical screening, diagnostic interviewing, psychological and neuropsychological testing and extensive information about the child's functioning at home and in the classroom. Because information from the teacher is critical, we recommend scheduling diagnostic evaluations during the school year.

Superparenting 101

This course teaches parents techniques to help their children with behavior, learning or emotional problems. The approach combines traditional parent training with specialized therapeutic skills training. We often teach parent and child courses 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 family and friends. The course also includes strategies to help children get more organized and take responsibility for daily tasks, such as getting ready for the day, being on time, managing homework assignments and establishing good habits and routines. The parents attend their own course at the same time to learn how to support their children's use of these skills at home.

School Consultations

HALP clinicians can visit a child's school if needed for classroom observation, teacher training, Individualized Education Plan staffing or designing a behavioral program with the child's teacher 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 cards as a means of teaming up parents and teachers to support a student's learning and behavior.


The HALP clinic's philosophy on medication is to provide as many facts to the parents as possible, and then allow the family to decide what's best for their child. We provide information about what medications do and don't do, including all potential benefits and risks. For families who want to try medication, we refer to our medication assessment clinics where children's response to medication can be carefully evaluated.

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Please call the number below for information about making an appointment.

Getting Here

Hyperactivity, Attention and Learning Problems
401 Parnassus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 476-7500
Fax: (415) 476-7163

Hours: Tuesday and Thursday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

What to Bring

  • Health insurance information including authorizations or referrals
  • List of your child's prescription medications and dosages
  • List of medications your child is allergic to
  • List of questions you may have
  • Recent test results related to your child's condition
  • Paper and pencil to take notes

Research and Clinical Trials


Parking at Parnassus

Public parking for an hourly fee at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital is available in the seven-level Millberry Union Garage at 500 Parnassus Ave. There are two garage entrances — one on the north side of Parnassus Avenue and another on Irving Street, just east of Third Avenue.

Another garage with an hourly fee, at 350 Parnassus Ave., is open Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Metered street parking is rarely available.

Patients being admitted to the hospital may be dropped off at the circular driveway leading to the main entrance at 505 Parnassus Ave. This area also may be used to pick up patients who are being discharged.

For more information about parking at Parnassus, call Campus Parking Services at 476-2566.

Valet Parking Service

Valet parking service is available at the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) at 400 Parnassus Ave. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The valet service is free but patients must pay regular parking fees. For more information about the valet service, call (415) 476-6200.

A UCSF "greeter" also is available at the ACC from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist patients find their way.

Public Transportation


UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital is accessible via Muni streetcar line N-Judah*, which stops at Second Avenue and Irving Street, and the following Muni bus lines, which stop in front of the hospital:

  • 43-Masonic*
  • 6-Parnassus

For more information about Muni visit, www.sfmuni.com.

* Wheelchair accessible bus routes

Related Information

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Clinics & Centers

Our Team

Lauren M. Haack
Linda Pfiffner
Linda Pfiffner, PhD
Anna Swan
Anna Swan, PhD
Christine Zalecki