Kat's Cafe and Kat's Arts Storefront is Now Open


The Perfect Blend of Flavor, Art and Inspiration



Our Book

Autism: Advancing on the SPectrum

Get it on Amazon.com

$2.99 for Kindle

$15.95 Paperback






Ambassador for Abilities News


From speaking engagements to volunteer work and walk-a-thons, Kat is always promoting equality for people of all abilities. You can become an Ambassador for Abilities too!

more info about Ambassador for Abilities

Katherine's facebook page



Katherine Performances

 Schedule Varies

Katherine plays at Kat's Cafe

Saturdays and Sundays

1PM - 2PM







Located at: 100 North Cooper St. New Smyrna Beach Florida
Open: Wednesday to Sunday 8am-5pm


What started as a dream more than 30 years ago is finaly realized. Kat's Cafe and Kat's Arts opened doors on March 17, 2023 and was filled with Irish tunes played by Katherine on a Celtic Harp.


Katherine has patiently waited for this moment and now she gets to share all her music and her artwork all the time.


Kat is our Ambassador for Abilities and is raising awareness of the possibilities that can be achieved when famillies and community work together.


Kat's Cafe and Kat's Arts is purpose driven, a place that showcases the talents of all including individuals with disabillities. We hope that when you come and meet us you will come for coffee, enjoy the artwork and leave inspired. It all started in 1989...

We created KatsCafe.com website in year 2000. When Katherine was first diadnosed the prevalance of autism was 1 in 10,000. There was very little information for parents to learn about helping a person with autism grow. We wanted to share with other families how we worked with Katherine to help her become the beautiful person she is today.


Since we focused on Katherine and our Cafe we have not been able to upgrade the site to the latest technology. This will be our next priority. So please let us know what type of information you may be interested in and we willl try to help the best we can.

All Started with: A Personal Account of a Young Woman's life with Autism.


Her Struggles and Triumphs Continue...

Woman With Autism Smiling


Kat was diagnosed with autism at age 2 1/2 in 1989. Today Kat is 36 years old. Her struggles and triumphs have impacted many people and especially her family and friends. We have created this page to share our story with everyone, with a hope that it will inspire others to help their child with autism.

Kat's Story


Today Kat is a young woman with autism who is continuing to learn and amaze us. She plays classical harp and piano by reading music and Celtic harp by ear. She took dance classes and was able to audit classes at a community college. We recently added a video of Kat playing her Celtic harp for her teachers at the middle school that she attended when she was younger.

There are many faces of autism and every person with autism is unique and so is their story. Kat's story has made us laugh and cry many many times and we hope that by reading her story you are able to cry a little and laugh a little and learn a lot from our successes and mistakes. We love feedback so please let us know how if you were touched in any way by Kat's Autism Story.

Kat's Story is shared with our readers for the purpose of helping other families of children with autism. Some of the names have been changed to preserve the privacy of all those who worked with Kat through the years. Our hope is that we can increase awareness about autism through her story.

About Kat's Cafe

Currently, Kat is unable to edit and add content to this page. Directed by Kat, her friends and family add information to the site. The resources related to autism were collected by her family. Click here to learn more about us.

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. We want this site to be your resource center and a great place to visit.

Mother Holding a Child with Autism




Autism: Advancing on the Spectrum

Autism: Advancing on the Spectrum is Now Available for Kindle!

Our book is now available in Kindle format! A person with autism can learn and advance on the spectrum of abilities. Learn how you can help an individual with autism achieve their full potential. This quick read is full of life lessons learned from the journey with Katherine. This book will inspire anyone who wants to make a difference in the life of an individual on the autism spectrum. It was written by Kat's mom, Danuta Highet, and Melissa Niemann, who together assisted Katherine's inclusion during her school years. You don't want to miss out on this exciting and informative read.

Kat's Videos

Witness the progress Kat has made over the years with the following videos:

Click here to see the video - April 1990

Click here to see the video - June 2007

Click here to see the video - February 2010

Click here to see the Video - August 2012


Autism Resources

Kat continues to work hard on her on her language and communication skills. Here are language games designed for her.

If you'd like to learn more about autism or have someone in your life on the spectrum, please check out our resource section for books, websites, and our first hand experiences. Please share with us any resources that we need to add to our site.

For Kids

This web site is dedicated to capture the creativity and imagination of a person with autism. The individual with autism "Kat" who participates in selecting the topics for this site, loves music and entertainment. When she was younger she could not discriminate the concept of better or best. Instead she used the five star rating system that she observed in movie ratings, and applied it to everything in her life. Spaghetti is five stars. Horse radish? Zero stars!

From video games to roller coasters, you can find a list of things that Kat has rated in the for kids section. If I were you, I'd trust this Disney expert's taste in movies.

Ambassador for Abilities

Katherine is sharing her story and helping others become Ambassadors for Abilities. She's unablle to write her own speech but ddelivers it beautifully. This will further help us promote the message of the possibilities that can be achieved when we work together.

Comments, Questions and Suggestions...

Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated. We want this site to be your resource center and a great place to visit.

Looking for something unique?

Please let us know if you are a person with autism or know someone who falls in the spectrum and would like us to add other topics of interest. We will gladly consider them.

Ad Space on this Web Site

The ad space on this web site is available. For inquiries about ad space please e-mail us: editor@katscafe.com. We do not offer text link ads. All ads are subject to approval. This is a family site and we strive to make it a safe place for any child to visit.


We collect only the following information from the visitors to our web site:

* the domain name (but not the E-mail address) of each visitor,
* the E-mail address of those who communicate with us via E-mail, and
* aggregate information on what pages visitors view

The information we collect from visitors or customers may be used to improve the content of our web pages and is NOT shared with any other organizations for any purpose whatsoever.

We do not set any cookies.



See Kat's Story for More Information