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.
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.
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.
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.
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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
Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.
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 workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.
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 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.
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
After hospitalization, we help kids return to school 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 reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.
Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.
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.