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Tax Season Tips

As tax season approaches, many individuals with neurodiverse conditions such as autism, ADHD, or dyslexia may face unique challenges when it comes to completing their tax returns. Although tax season can be overwhelming and confusing for anyone, those with neurodiverse conditions can have some additional hurdles to manage.

While many of these conditions may provide valuable strengths that contribute to a more diverse society, differences in executive functioning and emotion regulation may present barriers. For example, some individuals with dyslexia may struggle with the complex language and terminology of tax forms. Meanwhile, individuals with ADHD may find the process of organizing and compiling documents overwhelming or struggle with unexpected changes to routine.

To help support individuals with neurodiverse conditions during tax season, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Start early: Tax prep can be a time-consuming process. Starting early, working for shorter, more manageable sessions can be helpful for reducing stress and prevent executive functioning burnout.

  2. Use visual aids: Visual aids, such as checklists and visual timers, can be great tools for organizing and breaking down complicated tasks into more manageable chunks.

  3. Seek support: Consider looking for support in a trusted family member, friend, or financial advisor to assist in navigating the process. Or, if you have the means, outsourcing your taxes to eliminate tax season stress altogether.

  4. Practice self-care: Engaging in activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress are important during high stress sessions.

Tax season can be a challenging time for anyone, but individuals with neurodiverse conditions may face additional challenges. By taking proactive steps to support our neurodiverse selves, we can leap over these societal hurdles.

-Stephanie Olszewski, OTR/L

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