ASPIE Girls is about becoming familiar with the in the women
video on their own terms as well as raising awareness about Asperger’s
I was introduced to Asperger’s Syndrome 10 years ago through
Mame N’Diaye. She was completing high
school through home schooling shortly after her diagnosis of Asperger’s
Syndrome. I videotaped her for one day
to get to know her and gain understanding about AS. The original taping was the genesis for this
project. It is through her acquaintance
that I met the other women who belong to the same Asperger’s Support group in Washington, D.C. I conducted taped interviews with the women
and was able to cultivate a friendship with each of them. Understanding and respect for their talents
and skills was a common desire expressed in the interviews. None of them wanted the stigma of being a
victim of pathology and I agreed.
The women in ASPIE Girls are artists. Their work and the living environments
they’ve created is the focus of the project.
Mame is a visual artist and musician. Her inspiration is derived from
her spiritual experiences and a desire for celebrity that she believes will
help her gain acceptance in spite of her disability. Louise is a poet and autism advocate. She is in her 50’s and received multiple
diagnoses as an adult before arriving at Asperger’s Syndrome. Louise is a mother and navigating her
marriage is a mystery for her. Jenifer’s
interest is in story structure used to create stories based in fantasy worlds
reconstructed to apply to other mediums.
She is writing a series of books.
Jenifer has lived at home since graduating from college. Verna plays piano in her church with two
bands (gospel and R&Band).
Audiences will gain a general understanding of Asperger’s
Syndrome and understand the women through their art and not as victims of a
For those who have the
experience of being an outsider or other, ASPIE Girls opens up that