A documentary produced by Model Me Kids in cooperation
with the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD
with Autism: One Teacher's Experience
This documentary is about a wonderful classroom
of children with Autism at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in
Baltimore, MD. The children and their teacher welcomed us
warmly, and we were given a birdseye view of their unique
experiences. We are happy to share this with you, and think
that you will be as moved in watching the video as we were
in making it.
All video and media on this site is protected
by copyright laws. You may not, under any circumstances, reproduce,
record, publish, publicly exhibit, or distribute any media
files made available for playback on the Model Me Kids website
without Model Me Kids' express written consent.
A Mom says
I loved the video! These kids are very special! I think
the world needs to see that their stereotypes of kids
with autism are false and this video shows it beautifully.
Anonymous says -
Thank you for sharing this documentary. I am also a
SPED teacher working with children with autism and I
couldn’t agree with you more when you said that
you find them most genuine and you wish that when you
wake up in the morning you could be with them because
of certain characteristics that they have which you
find inspiring. I just want you to know that I feel
just the same and I commend the efforts you are making
Anonymous says -
Thank you so much for sending me the documentary. I
every word. Please thank Ms. Rabuck for her devotion
children and to the world’s view of autism.
Parent/w autistic child says -
I really enjoyed the video. I believe this will help
enlighten people that children with Autism can connect
if people will take the time to understand and not be
so judgemental. Thank you for sharing the video!
Teacher of K Autism
Cluster says -
This video was great! I want for my Kindergarten kids
to grow up to be as communicative as those in the video!
parent of autistic child says -
a very interesting video was nice to listen to other
children and their feelings regarding autism, i have
a high functioning autistic child myself and had him
watch this with me although he is in denial, many thanks
This video, Teacher & the children are amazing!!!
My son will be 10 yr.’s old next month. He was
diagnosed at 2 1/2 with moderate to severe autism, but
as of November 26, 2007 his diagnosis is now High Functioning
Autism! Way to go Little Man!!! He has been home schooled
since February 2005 & I truly believe that this
teacher, this program with the awesome methods of teaching,
amongst other wonderful traits that this teacher has
& the other children in the program, would definitely
benefit my son! You are amazing Ms. Dedra Rabuck!!!
Jennifer Matthews says
I found this video exceptionally inspiring and wonderful.
Knowing little about the disease of Autism, to discover
that there is hope of truly reaching students on a meaningful
level is such an awe-inspiring thing.
If I’m correct the Kennedy Kreiger Inst. is associated
with Johns Hopkins. What an incredible pairing, and
to see this class warms my heart. To see and hear the
student say, “I’m social here” and
to see what a great environment they have - kuddo’s!!!
Above all praises to the teacher!!!!!!!!! I wish I could
be your student teacher!!!
Ljubica says -
This women is great teacher! I’m study special
education and realy want to be like she, when I start
M. Michna says -
Thank you. My son has Autism. He is 3 years old. He
is smart, he is fun and has a cute sense of humor. This
gives me such hope for my son.
Cindy says -
I liked this video. I have son who is 2 with autism
and I believe my 8 year old may be on the spectrum but,
I am going to homeschool him. I like what I seen because
I seen older children connecting with friends who are
like them and are happy.
Lee Darrell says -
I am a SPED teacher in a Jr. high school setting and
teach students with high functioning autism and Aspergers
and I am very glad I found your website. I ordered the
DVDs and show them to my students. I can’t wait
to see the curriculum for middle/high school level.
The hardest thing for me is the lack of age-appropriate
materials. The students I work with are smart…they
don’t want to see elementary social stories and
lessons. They don’t color anymore, they are more
sophisticated, and need materials that challenge their
J, Mom says -
I am a parent of a child with Asperger’s and
watching your video “Children with Autism:One
Teacher’s Experience” is very helpful. Now
in his teens I am trying to explain to him and his siblings
more about autism. Thank you for a different glance
DMK says -
Thank you for making this delightful and insightful
video available to all; I’ll be sharing it with
my dedicated colleagues who work with our children on
the autism spectrum.
Deni says -
It was a joy to see other students around my son’s
age(he has autism) who were clear about their disorder,
yet they understood that there was sooo much more to
being themselves than the diagnosis. My son glanced
briefly at the clip. It seems he is stuck between world
of “typical” and not quite “severe”
Az still has much to learn to be able to provide such
a great school as I saw presented in the video. Thank
you to teacher and staff for putting the video together.
More importantly, thanks to the students who were courageous
enough to share themselves with us, and brought hope
to our family. THANKS.
Mom to Joneeeee says -
I loved the fact that the video shows these kids as
people first and that autism is just a part of who they
are. It is a great tool for educating the public about
these special kids.
Anonymous says -
Thank you for sharing this video.
It gave me and my son a hope!
chloe cassidy says -
I think this website is very good for kids who want
to be a role model xxxxxxx
Mimi, Desi's Mom... says
This video makes me cry each time I see it and I thank
God my child gets to be in that classroom with Diedre.
Fantastic video, Thank you, Thank you Thank you! Gracias
Debbie Richards says -
Terrific video! I’m excited to see the information
on this site.
Margaret Kay says -
One of the best videos I’ve seen about special
kids who happen to have autism. Please consider shooting
another documentary showing these wonderful young kids
out in their communities.
Ivy K. says
I have a brother with autism and he is like some of
the kids on the video. It made me feel good because
it can kind of help me with my brother. I felt good
when I saw the part about when you said that kids with
autism - their brains are different but it’s not
who they are.
Ivy K. says -
Thank you for this great video.
Documentary says -
I enjoyed reading your blog. It is so interesting reading
other peoples personal take on a subject….
Megan says -
This is an awesome video. I am a future educator, and
it is so important that people understand that children
with autism aren’t just “that autistic kid”
they are just another kid with autism. Beautifully done.
A teacher . . . says -
I loved the video. I agree with the way you view your
students. Have you taught a student with Aspergers?
Anonymous says -
I think the video opened my mind as to how students
react to their disorder, autism. Some are happy, shy,
socialable etc. I always thought that children with
autism did not have social skills but this video clip
proved me wrong. Thanks for opening my eyes to reality.
Kevin Pearson says -
I enjoyed the video. I have an 8yr old son with Autism.
Where we live we don’t have a spec. ed class and
I can see from the video how important it is to have
others with the same situation work together and give
confidence and support to each other so they can deal
with the world. Thank you
Julie Sliski says -
My son has Asperger’s and I have been trying
to find material to help other students to understand
and accept him more. Thanks.
Autism Para says -
This video was awesome! Thank you so much for sharing.
These kids connect in so many different ways, and people
need to take the time and see that! If people would
give kids with autism a chance to connect with them..I
know they would be better people for the experience.
Ms. Rabuck and teachers like her should be commended
for all that they do for kids with autism! This video
will inspire anyone who watches it!
I wish that the student I work with could go to your
school. She is so alone and sad. I am just her paraeducator.
I think she isn’t quite as high functioning as
some of the children in your video, but she would do
so much better if she could be with children like her.
I don’t even know if she knows that she is Autistic….but
she does know what isolated means and she will tell
you that the word isolated is her.
Debra says -
I was touched by your video. It is obvious that the
children and the teacher are lovingly connected. I was
unable to have children but I cared for my mother with
progressive dementia for many years. I wish that there
were special people like Diedra who could treat elderly
with dementia in the same gentle and accepting way that
she treats her students. Thank you for sharing your
lives with the world.
Hi. Nice site - thanks.
Kristi Snyders says -
Your documentary is a wonderful gift to children with
Autism and parents and teachers of children with Autism.
They are children first and autism is not who they are!
You did a wonderful job of showing who they, what they
like, and celebrating them for who they are and what
they can do rather than what they can’t!
My 6yr old daughter was recently dx’d as having
high functioning Autism. I’ve always known something
was “different” about her, it’s so
nice to see other kids like her. Deidra, thank you so
much for making this video, and for what you are doing
for these “special blessings from GOD” like
mine out there!! I wish you taught in our school system!
GOD bless you.
Pepper says -
Thanks for the documentary. I work with kids on the
spectrum and it’s such a breath of fresh air to
hear a positive perspective about these amazing kids.
What a great job!! Thanks again!
Triplet Mom says -
It is hard to see these children. One of my sons has
autsim and is 5 years old. It is hard to imagine him
not fully recovering from it. I know I will love him
no matter how he develops. Your heart breaks that a
child is ostrisized for being different. Deidre is an
inspiration. Thanks for helping.
Mmb says -
Marie, a Mom says -
I am so pleased to see that such wonderful talents
are alive and well in our world. I had the privelege
of visiting this classroom today and saw for myself
the wonderful work that this teacher and her students
are doing in the field of autism. I hope that my son,
gets an opportunity to learn from and experience all
that KK has to offer in the up coming school year. To
all the staff at KK, thank you and keep up the good
Marie and Aaron.
Dawn Seales says -
Wonderful video. Terrific children with a very remarkable
teacher, showing the world these children are beautiful
inside and out.
Mom w/ PDD-NOS child says -
This is a really good video. Most children with high
functioning autism fall through the cracks. My son is
in a “main stream” school and having alot
Sherry Charlot says -
It's a great video. I am a Parent to Parent Support
Program Coordinator for Kitsap County, WA. I run a monthly
Autism group and I have copied your product catolog
to share with the families I work with. I am also hoping
to figure out a way to show them this video at our next
L. Blaylock (Mom
of 16-year old son with Autism) says -
I love the video! This teacher is incredible! I really
enjoyed watching & listening to the kids in this
classroom. Our son was almost totally non-verbal at
age 5 (very few words) and now is very verbal. Has trouble
with sentence structure. He’s tall & handsome
& full of love. Has tons of friends! Thank you Model
Me Kids for making videos to help teach our Special
Kids! We heard about you through a Mom at Music Therapy.
A. Cosner says -
I loved the video. I have a 6 year old son with PDD-Nos
and watch him struggle daily with social issues. Everyone
that gets to know him finds him funny and fascinating,
you never know what will come out of his mouth! My son
first got help at The Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore
and I cannot thank them enough for getting him talking
and communicating with us. They also helped us curb
his aggression. I can't believe he ever was agressive
now. We now live in New Zealand and was thrilled to
see this video about a class at KKI. Thank you for that.
I am a regular education teacher with a masters in
special education. My son was diagnosed with Asperger’s
at age 7. What a wonderful video, all teachers should
watch this video. Every new year my son goes to school
I pray to God for him to have a teacher like the one
in this video and I try to be the teacher I would like
my son to have (I did this before having children also).
What a gift she is giving these children, love, encouragement,
believe and respect. All these gives us all parents
of autistic children peace of mind. She’s not
just teaching but creating a mind set for these wonderful
children and making them understand how special they
are. I try to do this everyday with my child, so much
so that my younger child says that life is not fair
because he also wants to be autistic. I’ll tell
all my teacher friends to watch it.
Thank you so much
sherry soule says -
Wow what a wonderful documentary and wish the world
could see this. Our children in the spectrum are the
most special people on this earth.
As a Special Educator for 35 years, and recently an
educator who teaches an Asperger Self- Awareness class
to 8 middle schoolers on the spectrum, I rate this video
as #1. The students were so relieved to see their own
characteristics on film, and applauded your efforts!
Volina Lefeld says -
I loved this video. It gives me hope for my son. I
have a 10 year old with Autism and Epilepsy. His class
is told at the beginning of the year about his Autism
and Epilepsy, that way the won’t make fun of him
when he does something “not normal. He has alot
of “bodyguards” because of the kids being
told about his Autism & Epilepsy. I have been worried
about what would happen when he goes to middle school,
and this video gave me hope. Thank you very much! Way
to go Ms. Rabuck!
My son is 15- he is my hero. He was diagnosed in 6th
grade with autism. We have tough times at home but nothing
compared to the bullying and garbage he has to go through
at school.You are a blessing to those children. I wish
we could clone you. Thanks,
Julieanne Atwell says
I hung onto every word. I am a teacher who sometimes
works with mainstreamed children on the spectrum and
the mother of a severely autistic, non-verbal son. Not
only is the teacher inspirational, but so are the children.
They have such great personality that shines through.
Thank you. I hope more people who are unfamiliar with
autism see this.
My son was diagnosed with autism at age 2.He is 4.5
and we have had alot of struggles.The kids in the video
give me hope for the future of my son.That you can succeed
if you work hard at something and don’t give up.
Janice says -
My sweet 12 year old Grandaughter has autism. This
past year, the “typically developing kids”
in her sixth grade class shunned and teased her without
mercy. It is the World out their from which they need
protection, there is nothing “wrong” with
children with autism.
Julie Ford says -
Our son was just diagnosed at 17 with Autism. Thank
you for this moving video. It is like watching a piece
of our boy.
Maria M. says -
Thank you so much for sharing such a amazing video!
I have a 6 yrs. son who has autism. He is a very lovable,
bright and happy boy. However, I worry as he gets older
and wonder how the other kids will treat him at school.
I think this type of videos should be definetely view
at all schools so other kids and teachers will be more
aware of how wonderful our autistic children are. Also,
the rest of the teachers could learn so much from Ms.
This is a great video. My nephew is autistic and attends
a regular school, but in a special needs class. The
other kids love him. He is not a social butterfly, but
neither are some other children. We are just what God
created us…all special and with special needs
in His eyes. I hope you are sharing this with every
school in this country. Every teacher and student needs
to see this. Thank you for going the extra mile to make
this documentary. God Bless
A (very moved) mom says
My son is 8 and has HFA. I cried when I watched this.
These kids have potential and they need to be supported.
This teacher is amazing. My son exhibits some of the
behaviors mentioned in the video, and I wish more people
would ask questions. I would be happy to answer and
help more people become aware and understanding.
This video clip presents 'best practice' educational
services for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I am Principal at a Public Elementary School in Kentucky
and I believe the Model Me Kids materials offer resources
that can effectively be used to demystify many aspects
of the struggles faced by students with autism. To best
serve ASD students, all participants � ASD students,
typical students, school personnel, parents and community
must be accurately informed of student struggles and
needs. I believe the resources you make available will
help. I hope to introduce these materials for use in
my school where several students on the spectrum are
appropriately, optimally, and successfully mainstreamed
with typical function students in the total school population.
Currently, this is being done through an inclusion /collaboration
model with resource services as appropriate. We seek
to provide the very best possible individual education
services within our capabilities. Certainly, typical
public schools are not as equipped as the specialized
facility and personnel of the Kennedy Krieger Institute
in Baltimore, MD. Still, we strive to offer the best
possible to foster success of all our children in this
public school mainstream setting.
Rain says -
Can my kids go there too? The teacher has the same
views as my sons teacher but the school district kinda
forced her out. She is right -they DO connect. my son
is 4, autistic and has a little girlfriend who isnt
autistic and they connect just fine
Lesley Wells says -
I LOVED YOUR VIDEO! My son Eric has Asperger’s
Syndrome and I saw him in the faces and stories of all
the kids in this video. Please, can Eric come and be
in your class Ms. Dedra Rabuck, I love you!
Karen, a Mom says -
This was great! I could see how my son is a lot like
these kids. He is Fourteen and in Middle School. I passed
this along to many people because I think that they
need to see this and learn more about Autism.
I loved this video. I am a special education teacher
and I also have a 13 year old daughter that has been
recently diagnosed with PDD-NOS. We watched the video
together and her comment was, “Can I go to this
school? I would like to have friends like they do.”
We have searched for social skills groups, but we live
in a rural area and I have been unable to find one.
Seeing this video helped her see that there are other
kids like her. Thanks for a wonderful documentary!
Caroline says -
Thanks so much for this video. My 10 year old daughter
is autistic and we are experienceing alot of regression
and not understanding why she is different… just
because she is autistic…. this video really hit
home with her and I.. They are all special. I also work
with autistic children as an aide in a public school
and it hurts to see the kids treat them the way they
do, just because they are different. they are indivduals
with awesome pesronalities. Awesome!
I so appreciate your sharing this video. I work in
schools with children on the spectrum. It is wonderful
to meet these students and see how they relate to each
other. Our school is small, developing peer groups is
sometimes difficult, but it’s great when relationships
So much is about the community understanding. You said
Rossanne says -
Thank you for showing in your video what I see every
time I look at my son. He is an amazing 12 year old
who just happens to have Autism. It is so important
for people to realize that our children do have feelings
and that they can connect with others. Thank you!!
pat scanlon says -
WOW. I SO WISH THAT SHE COULD BE MY NEIGHBOR. PAT
Mike Scanlon says -
I really appreciate your video clip. My wife and I
have raised a child who was considered classically autistic
and now he’s almost 30 and extremely high functioning.
There’s always another way my son fills us with
surprise and wonder. It’s worth the journey!
JENNIFER says -
IT IS SO GREAT TO MAKE A VIDEO AND SHOW THE WORLD THAT
KIDS WITH AUTISM AREN’T WHAT PEOPLE THINK THEY
Melody Biddle says -
This video made me cry. Not tears of sadness, but tears
of absolute pure joy. These children, who stand in the
glory of God, are magnificent. A dear friend of mine,
her son has high functioning autism. My great nephew
is in the spectrum. A boy in my Sunday School class
has autism. Each one of them is precious to me, and
I try as hard as I can to meet them at the edge and
help them in this place we call “society”.
Thank you for making this video.
I notice most of the comments are from person who either
teach or are in some way related to an indiviual with
autism, how do we get the general public not immediately
affected by autism interested in learning more and willing
to help provide opportunities for these indiviuals?
carla king says -
THANK YOU! That was the most genuine and simple explanation
of individuals with ASD that I've seen yet. It just
made sense to look at the person as an individual, the
way we all wish to be viewed. I’m a resource specialist
for my district’s public schools PK-12 grade for
our students with ASD. I would love to share this with
others. Thanks again!
Kimmy's Mom says -
The video was GREAT!!! My daughter goes to Kennedy
so most of the kids in the video I recognized. I commend
you on a wonderful job that you are doing. I really
enjoyed hearing the group express themselves. Kudos
to you and your class.
Mom of 4 year old w/ autism says -
Kennedy Krieger has an exceptional program for children
with autism. Every child should have the opportunity
to attend such a quality program.
Thank You for the look into your classroom. I am studying
to be a SPED teacher, this classroom is inspiring.
Dana Pitman says -
I LOVED the video. I wish I could purchase a copy to
show to teachers during trainings.
alice pablo says -
Thanks for the video. I wish my 2 daughter will be
able to speak like those children on the video. Is there
any way my children would be able to speak like that?
What do I need to know and how? Thank you again.
Special Education Teacher says -
Thank you for inspiring people to better understand
Autism. I am starting a new program at the high school
level for students with high functioning Autism and
I feel like a sponge wanting to learn more. What a blessing
you are to those kids and new teachers! Thanks.
Anonymous says -
I am a SPED teacher..it is summer break and I miss
my kids so much. We are very connected. I can’t
wait to see them. Great video!!! I am emailing the link
to my colleagues and parents. THANK YOU!
Kris says -
First off, I want to say, please don't ever get rid
of this video. It was absolutely wonderful! I have moderate-high
functioning Autism and I had a class and teacher like
that. It was called ESAP for us. It was like that in
the classroom! Thanks for sharing it. God Bless and
this is what it can be like for at least a while for
that special ed class or classes in a regular-ed school.
Thank you thank you thank you!
I just had to cry when I saw this video. These kids
are just soooo amazing. Society really need to be informed
and be made aware of what autism means so that we do
not stereotyped them as they are really still just the
same as everyone of us, we all want to have our own
place in this world. My extreme praises go to the teacher.
May your tribe increase.
Anonymous says -
This was a wonderful documentary. Every educator needs
to see this and start educating the world about individuals
with Autism. As a former Special Education teacher I
can attest to the lack of understanding amongst school
personnel which makes it very difficult for children
with autism to succeed.
Christine says -
Love the video…there is hope.
Virginia Adams says -
I have 2 grands with autism and I look for any information
I can to help us make their life more easy and to adjust
more easily. These kids are so smart academically and
we are trying hard to help them adjust socially without
pushing too hard. Is there some way I can have your
Mother of child
with Asperger's Syndrome says -
Wonderful video! I wish we had such a class available
near us. This clip motivated me to find other children
my son can better relate to and find ways to him do
Danielle says -
Johns Hopkins is proud to have you as one of our alumni.
You truly are a gift to the field.
Ruth Tozzi says -
I think having this type of modeling that my AI students
can see,will be extremely helpful. The team and I will
be able to set up our peer groups to assist in social
skill building with the AI students and others who need
Michele Severson says
WOW and Wonderful! I think every adult and child should
have the priviledge of watching this documentary as
part of a standard school indoctrination. Autism like
so many other syndromes or disorders shares a beautiful
side of self which everyone has but others don’t
get to articulate and or express freely. I am blessed
to have a child who deeply feels and expresses his hopes,
fears, love, compassion for others, and dreams for himself
and others. Watching this documentary was like receiving
a spontaneous hug from him - it’s pure, honest,
and given to you with love and the hope of understanding
he wants you to feel his love just like you give him.
As a parent, I am inspired that there are classrooms
where this appreciation, understanding and guidance
of nuiances is embraced and honored. What an awesome
teacher and environment.My deepest appreciation to the
kids for sharing and MsDedra for mentoring and teaching
insightfulness to them and viewers.
Shelley R says -
I love this documentary and I never get tired of seeing
it! I have an 8 year old hfa daughter who knows she
has autism but also very gifted as well and not defined
by it at all..but I think more special because she is
so unique and loving and so pure:) I wished we had the
type of classroom such as this one despicted…my
daughter is mainstreamed and no classes for high functioning
such as her or the ones you show here..they would be
mainstreamed here too..I am in Texas:) Maybe one day
all kids will have teachers as dedicated as this one.
I just wished all teachers here were educated and understood
how wonderful they are. Thanks for a wonderful film!