Free Autism Documentary

A documentary produced by Model Me Kids in cooperation with the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD

Children 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.


Run Time: 09:43 Cost: Free

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.

Other Model Me Kids documentaries:

"No Limits" documentary

Autism Pioneer Jane Salzano, Founder of CSAAC

Autism Research: Dr. Valerie Hu

Your Comments:

  1. 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. Phenomenal Job!!!

  2. 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 for them.

  3. Anonymous says -

    Thank you so much for sending me the documentary. I hung on
    every word. Please thank Ms. Rabuck for her devotion to these
    children and to the world’s view of autism.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. Penny says -

    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!!!

  8. 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.

  9. Jean says -

    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!!!

  10. Ljubica says -

    This women is great teacher! I’m study special education and realy want to be like she, when I start to work.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 thinking.

  14. 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 at it.

  15. 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.

  16. 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” enough.
    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Anonymous says -

    Thank you for sharing this video.
    It gave me and my son a hope!

  19. chloe cassidy says -

    I think this website is very good for kids who want to be a role model xxxxxxx

  20. 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 too!

  21. Debbie Richards says -

    Terrific video! I’m excited to see the information on this site.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Ivy K. says -

    Thank you for this great video.

  25. Documentary says -

    I enjoyed reading your blog. It is so interesting reading other peoples personal take on a subject….

  26. 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.

  27. A teacher . . . says -

    I loved the video. I agree with the way you view your students. Have you taught a student with Aspergers?

  28. Anonymous says -

    Nice website!!

  29. Latoya 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.

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. Donna says -

    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.

  34. 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.

  35. bob says -

    Hi. Nice site - thanks.

  36. 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!

  37. Sabrina says -

    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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. Mmb says -

    Thank you!

  41. 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 work.
    Marie and Aaron.

  42. Dawn Seales says -

    Wonderful video. Terrific children with a very remarkable teacher, showing the world these children are beautiful inside and out.

  43. 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 of problems.

  44. 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 meeting.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. Janety says -

    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

  48. 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.

  49. Nancy says -

    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!
    thank you.

  50. 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!

  51. patty says -

    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,

  52. 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.

  53. Fay says -

    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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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. Rabuck.

  57. Robin says -

    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

  58. 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.

  59. Glen says -

    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.

  60. 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

  61. 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!

  62. 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.

  63. Julie says -

    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!

  64. 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!

  65. Susan says -

    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 build.
    So much is about the community understanding. You said it well.

  66. 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!!

  67. pat scanlon says -


  68. 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!

  69. JENNIFER says -


  70. 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.

  71. Chris says -

    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?

  72. 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!

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. Erica says -

    Thank You for the look into your classroom. I am studying to be a SPED teacher, this classroom is inspiring.

  76. Dana Pitman says -

    I LOVED the video. I wish I could purchase a copy to show to teachers during trainings.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. Anonymous says -

    I am a SPED 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!

  80. 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!

  81. Mommie says -

    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.

  82. 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.

  83. Christine says -

    Love the video…there is hope.
    Thank you

  84. 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 video?

  85. 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 it.

  86. Danielle says -


    Johns Hopkins is proud to have you as one of our alumni. You truly are a gift to the field.

  87. 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 social assistance.

  88. 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.

  89. 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!