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Terri Mauro
BY Terri Mauro

52 Things Parents of Kids with Special Needs Wish They Could Have Deducted on Their Taxes

Unless you applied for an extension on your taxes this year, the annual rush to find deductions ended yesterday on Tax Day 2017. Parents of children with disabilities may have found legit deductions for their children’s medical care, therapy, and other special needs, but that stuff really doesn’t scratch the surface of the expenses we wish we could declare, does it? Wouldn’t it be great if the government appreciated the importance of the following expenditures and allowed us to deduct the cost of:

1. Parenting books
2. Books written for professionals that we try to carve our way through
3. Shelves to hold all those books
4. Post-It notes and highlighters for marking up those books
5. Copies of book pages to distribute to teachers and other professionals
6. Copies of reports from some professionals to pass to other professionals
7. Postage for mailing all those reports around
8. Postage for letters berating professionals for not paying attention to the reports
9. Postage for endless insurance paperwork
10. Medicinal coffee
11. Mail-order therapy items we always believe are going to make a difference
12. Storage for all the therapy items our kid played with once and tossed aside
13. Fidgets of all sorts
14. Items to satisfy our child’s fixations and obsessions
15. Trampolines
16. Ball pits
17. Admission to or food purchased at places with trampolines and ball pits
18. Special food purchased to avoid our child’s allergies or sensory challenges
19. Food purchased in ongoing experiment to find something our child will eat
20. Travel to out-of-town specialists and therapists
21. Travel to out-of-district schools
22. Travel to conferences on our child’s disabilities
23. Fees to attend those conferences
24. Educational materials purchased at those conferences
25. Conference swag
26. Internet service, needed for research and respite
27. Cell phone service, needed because we have to be available to everyone at all times
28. Smartphones, because we can never miss an e-mail
29. Medicinal chocolate
30. Specialized clothing to fit our child’s devices and other needs
31. Clothing purchased and never worn because it didn’t feel right
32. Clothing we’ve destroyed in an effort to adapt it
33. Multiple attempts at homemade weighted vests
34. Store-bought weighted vests
35. Weighted pencils, shoes, lap animals, etc.
36. Specialized pencils to help with writing
37. Specialized paper for writing on
38. Folders and binders for all the IEPs and reports we receive from the school
39. Cabinets and bins to hold all those folders and binders
40. Medicinal baked goods for mood-lifting after IEP meetings
41. Calendars, scheduling systems, and apps for keeping track of school and medical appointments
42. End-of-year gifts for teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists, bus drivers, bus aides, etc.
43. iPad for helping our child learn, grow, and pass time in boring places
44. Apps for iPad
45. In-app purchases our child made without our knowledge
46. Other business expenses for our full-time job as freelance insurance negotiator
47. Other business expenses for our full-time job as freelance advocate
48. Other business expenses for our full-time job as freelance at-home therapist
49. Other business expenses for our full-time job as freelance tutor
50. Other business expenses for our full-time job as freelance nurse
51, Other business expenses for our full-time job as freelance chauffeur
52. A vacation, because maybe that would inspire us to take one.

Terri Mauro

Written on April 19, 2017 by:

Terri Mauro is a former blog manager for Friendship Circle and Parenting Special Needs guide for She is the author of 50 Ways to Support Your Child's Special Education and The Everything Parents Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder. You can read more of her work on her website Mothers With Attitude and listen to her every weekday on the Parenting Roundabout Podcast. Terri has two children with special needs adopted from Russia in 1994.