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Making a Pro/Con List

by Aaron Tanner

· Football,Montgomery,Alabama

Have you or your child ever had to make a difficult decision and could not decide what to do? For those with Aspergers, have you ever had to make a decision without thinking it through and the consequences were more than you could handle?

The idea of making a decision can make those with Aspergers have a meltdown due to having to sort out many different ideas in one’s mind. I have experienced this before and it is not a good feeling. A study in Autism Journal shows that many adults with Asperger Syndrome have a greater difficulty in making decisions than neurotypical people.

One solution I recently discovered was making a pro/con list. By writing down the reasons behind your decision, one can visually see whether a certain decision would be good or bad. The person with Aspergers can do this in order to make a good choice and more importantly avoid making an impulse decision that can lead to consequences.

In order to do this, take a piece of paper and a pen or pencil and draw a line down the middle of the paper. On one side list a pro side and on the other side list a con side. If you need to, sit down with a parent or a trusted adult who knows you and talk out the thought process together behind the decision you are trying to make.

I will give you a real life example. My alma mater is Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. The football team has done great in the past few years, even to the point of making it to the FCS National Championship Game at the end of the 2015 season.

One week before the official start of the 2017 college football season, Jacksonville State will be playing Chattanooga on a nationally televised game on ESPN in Montgomery, Alabama. Even though I wanted to go to the game, the question was it a good idea?

After my mom gave me her opinion on the issue, I made a pro and con list. There were a few pro ideas, such as going to my first neutral site game; experiencing the game day atmosphere, and possibly seeing people I went to school with there. Another exciting aspect with this game is that though ticket packages for suites are kind of pricey, compared to the cost of a nosebleed seat (a seat way at the top of the stadium for those not familiar with sports) for the Alabama vs. Florida State neutral site game Labor Day weekend at the new Atlanta Falcons stadium, the packages for the game in Montgomery are a good deal.

However, there were many more cons such as having to spend money on things such as game day ticket, parking, food and gas, the sensory issues might be much for a nationally televised game, the hassles with finding parking, and either having to pay for a hotel room or drive back after the game and get home in the middle of the night.

The cons might not be so bad except that I have bills due in September; I am already planning on spending money on a weekend in Chattanooga with my mom in October for her birthday and I am already going to Jacksonville State’s homecoming at the end of October where I can park at the library for free and can walk or take a shuttle to the stadium and I only have to spend a few bucks on a game day ticket.

As much as I want to go, I am not willing to make an impulse buy that I can watch on TV from the comfort of my recliner in an air conditioned living room, only having to spend a few bucks on chicken wings from Publix, or having to take up a whole day or even a whole weekend to attend the game in person. I made a decision and I now need to stick with the decision.

For those with Aspergers, learning to make your own decisions is one step towards becoming independent. Next time you want to do something or buy something big, making a pro and con list is the way to make a decision.

What types of decisions have you made in the past and what type of conclusion did you come to? Comment in the section below.

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