Culinary Arts High School Program

Culinary Arts High School for Students with Autism and Other Special Needs

Bella and teacher

For over 20 years our Culinary Arts High School has uniquely addressed the needs in Miami-Dade County for high quality, developmentally appropriate, culturally competent education and vocational training to help students ages 14-22 with autism and other disabilities.  Our school is accredited, and well known for its effective strategies in teaching students with autism, behavior challenges, and developmental disabilities.  The impact of this program on our students’ journey toward independence is truly powerful as they gain self-confidence, vocational training and social skills.  These experiences and skills are important foundations for our students as we help them find jobs and a place in our community.  

"Finding the Easterseals Culinary Arts High School was the best thing that ever happened to me. Before, I felt sad and that I wasn't smart enough. But my teachers at Easterseals saw my potential and they never gave up on me. I am graduating with so many skills. After graduation, they will help me find a job and I am going to help my mother so she doesn't have to work do hard" - Orlanda Diaz, graduating class of 2016

We are currently accepting McKay Scholarships. You may apply for McKay Scholarships HERE

Students in the program participate in both academic classroom instruction and vocational skills program including hands-on instruction, and modeling in our commercial kitchen.

Academic content follows the Florida Sunshine Standards and is customized to the individual needs of each student.
Hands-on, and modeling instruction is guided by our chef instructor who designs assignments that challenge each student to work as part of the kitchen team.  Students work together to support each one another through kitchen stations such as sanitation, basic culinary skills (knife skills, bake, saute, fry, grill etc.), food preparation, and food service.  

The program’s hands-on instruction utilizes the National Restaurant Association’s ProStart curriculum.  Students have the opportunity to earn a ServSafe sanitation certification and a ProStart program certification.

Internship and work experiences for students in the program are supervised by our School Coordinator.
Students in the program have the opportunity to participate in special events and activities to develop confidence and skills essential for their growth and independence.

High School graduates under the age of 22 can also attend this program to gain continuing education.

wendy and students

The Wayne & Nicole Cypen Easterseals Academy is a coeducational day program serving students from Kindergarten through eighth grade. The school incorporates a variety of teaching methods, materials and techniques into its unique education center. 

The academy offers small teacher to student ratios, multi-sensory learning, and accepts the McKay Scholarship.  Learn more...

For youths ages 14-22, Easterseals South Florida offers a unique educational program involving academics and cooking!  The Culinary Arts High School in Miami is a great opportunity for youths with special needs to learn functional skills in a restaurant-style kitchen, along with a classroom education where they earn a special diploma. 

After School & Summer Camp Programs

Easterseals South Florida offers year-round After School and Summer Camp Programs for FREE thanks for sponsorship by The Childrens Trust!  Find out if the After School and Summer Camp Programs are right for your child.


Easterseals utilizes the TEACCH framework in its academic program for special needs students.  Developed by the University of North Carolina, TEACCH structured teaching recognizes the unique strengths and challenges faced by individuals with autism including difficulties with attention and executive function and strengths in visual information processing.  Its core components are evidence-based techniques that maximize independent functioning across the lifespan.

Using this framework, our faculty utilize an array of teaching and strategies based on the unique cognitive abilities, learning characteristics and social communication abilities of the individuals with ASD.

Vocational Evaluations

Provide vocational assessments to persons with disabilities to determine a person's abilities, talents and interests and provide recommendations for vocational pursuits.

Our Assessment includes:

-       Intellectual/Academic Achievement

-       Aptitudes/Capabilities

-       Vocational Interest

-       Attitudes/Values/Learning Styles

-       Autism Specific Assessments 


Kathleen P Grenier, MSW: (954) 551-5315 | 
Camila Rocha: (786) 223-2098 |   
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