Politics is just one of the many topics we have discussed at Dorchester Drop In Group. The group has been running for over 5 years now and has a regular membership of adults on the autism spectrum. During the 2017 General Election run up, our members wanted to learn more about the different political parties and what they stood for.
We began the session talking about what voting is and why we might vote if we choose to; many group members said that they wanted to vote but didn't really understand who to vote for. This session was designed to allow members to think in a political way without being daunted by the jargon or swayed by pre conceived views.
We had managed to get together five key points from each of the five main political parties manifesto's but...the members didn't know which points belonged to which party! We asked the group to stick a named post it note next to the policies they agreed with. This helped members make an unbiased choice about what they believed in and what was important to them. Once everyone who wanted to had made their choices, we revealed which policy belonged to which party. This was surprising for some but for others it strengthened their support for a particular party.
After this we decided to think about what issues the group would raise if they could speak to their local MP. Topics raised included weekly rubbish collections, cuts in social care, local travel services and benefit cuts. We are using this information, along with ideas from our Bournemouth Drop In Group, to draft a letter to a local MP. If you are an adult with autism and you have an issue that is important to you, why not get in touch and we can add your ideas to our letter. Our drop in groups are open to all adults on the autism spectrum, you can find out more here - http://autismwessex.org.uk/support-groups
"Thinking about politics in this way made it less confusing and more accessible" Drop In Group Member.