Monarch Autism Virtual Program

Monarch Autism Virtual Program is the online program of Monarch School for students ages 5 through 21 years of age, with a confirmed diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This online program offers comparable academic and related service minutes to a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Service Plan (ISP). All academic and therapeutic instruction are grounded in Monarch's visual language immersion teaching Model, which combines evidence-based elements including visual supports, technology and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). 

Download a Monarch Autism Virtual Program Brochure

Our Story

In March 2020 when the Governor of Ohio mandated the closing of all schools in the state due to COVID-19, Monarch quickly shifted to an online academic and therapeutic service delivery model for more than 100 of our community students with autism. Thanks to new distance learning technology platforms, programs, training, procedures, and personnel, we effectively supported our students and their families and gained a new appreciation for the online delivery model. From the hardship of the pandemic arose Monarch Autism Virtual Program, which benefits students with autism who prefer to learn outside of the tranditional classroom environment.


  • Please click here to read testimonials from families of students who attend Monarch Autism Virtual Program.
  • When asked to comment on her son's experience in Monarch's virtual program throughout the 2020-2021 school year, one parent said, "Max has made such wonderful progress this year, and it has been an amazing opportunity for me as a parent, to witness him learn and achieve mastery of so many skills." 
  • The mother of a current Monarch School virtual student said, "I actually prefer virtual and remote learning over in-class learning for Rhema because he can get distracted easily with others physically present, and we've been able to minimize his distractions and challenges. He occassionally misses his friends, which is why it is such a treat when he has screen time with his bestie and his lead instructor, about which he gets ecstatic, and this really helps keep him motivated throughout the week!"


  • Ages 5 through 21 years
  • Confirmed diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Enrollment is intentionally limited


  • Monarch's professional team includes an Academic Supervisor, Coordinator of Distance Learning, Intervention Specialist, Speech Langauge Pathlogist, Occupational Therapist, Behavior Specialist, and Associate Teacher.
  • Daily collaboration and ongoing training/coaching with the student's Parent/Caregiver/Tutor are integral to the success of the program.

Monarch Model

  • All academic and therapeutic instruction is grounded in Monarch's visual language immersion teaching Model, which combines visuals supports, technology and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). 
  • Developed through an ongoing partnership with Dr. Howard Shane at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, the Model leverages the strong visual processing abilities of individuals with autism and supports communication, comprehension, language development, social skills, behavior support, sensory intervention, and academic achievement.
  • Individualized visual supports are created and implemented for each student around three primary constructs: Visual Instruction, Visual Expression and Visual Organization.
  • Classroom programming includes growth across seven functions of communication including: Proesting and Refusal; Organization and Transitions; Requests; Directives; Comments; Questions; and Social Pragmatics.

To Learn More:


Academic & Related Services

  • Therapeutic instruction includes academics, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, and behavior support.
  • Students receive a combination of synchronous (real-time interaction) and asynchronous (online content) lessons including Zoom sessions, web-based activities, hands-on and digital materials, supplemental art, music and recreational therapy classes, as well as prevocational training, virtual field trips, social skills groups, caregiver coaching/consultation, and more.
  • Each student's day is programmed from 8:30am to 3:00pm with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous lessons, organized in 30-minute increments. 
  • Daily schedules with correponsding Zoom links are provided.
  • Students who reside outside of the state of Ohio will have Individualized Service Plans (ISPs).


  • Upon acceptance into Monarch Autism Virtual Program, licensed staff will conduct virtual assessments of students in key areas including but not limited to academics, speech and communication, occupational therapy, and behavior support (if needed).
  • Assessment results will help inform individualized instruction.

Data Collection

  • Data, which also helps drive individualized instruction, measures performance through parameters of independence, accuracy, participation, and behavior. Data is tracked through performance assessments, observational records, and anecdotal reports from staff, parents/caregivers and/or tutors.

Sample Schedule

  • Below is a sample schedule. Times and activities may vary depending on the student's interests, aptitude and availability. The school day begins at 8:30am and ends at 3:00pm. All sessions occur in 30 minute increments.
    • 8:30am: Morning Meeting
    • 9am: Speech Language 1-on-1
    • 9:30am: Academics
    • 10am: Google Glassroom/VizZle
    • 10:30am: Music/Art Therapy
    • 11am: Speech Language Group
    • 11:30am: Lunch
    • 12pm: Gross Motor
    • 12:30pm: Occupational Therapy
    • 1pm: Academics
    • 1:30pm: Google Classroom/VizZle
    • 2pm: Afternoon Group
    • 2:30pm: Art/Music Therapy

Instructional & Therapeutic Resources

  • Each student enrolled in Monarch Autism Virtual Program will receive packages of instructional and therapeutic materials which may include:
    • Laptop (for instruction)
    • iPad with case and mount (for reinforcement and observation)
    • Headphones (for caregiver coaching)
    • Student-specific Apps and online, interactive, instructional resources in the areas of communication, academics, sensory, fine motor, typing, reinforcement, behavior, leisure, and more
    • Classroom organization platform
    • Tools to support sensory, instruction, organization, communication, and behavior needs
    • Materials and manipulatives updated based on student's interests and aptitude (both online and hard copy)
    • Individualized visual supports organized by Instruction, Expression and Organization

Parent/Caregiver/Tutor Resources

  • Real-time coaching
  • Student-specific trainings
  • Autism webinars
  • Team meetings

Application Process

  • Please contact Director, Debra Mandell at 216-320-8945 or to request a copy of Monarch Autism Virtual Program's Student Application, which should be submitted with the child's most recent IEP, ISP, ETR, Behavior Plan, and/or Progress Report.
  • The Application contains a Survey to Assess Prerequisite Skills for Virtual Learnng, which helps us determine if the program is apporpriate for a particular student. Presence of these skills promotes more effective virtual learning. However, emerging or absent skill(s) may not prohibit a student from being accepted into the Virtual Program, especially if the skill(s) can be taught.
  • Members of the Treatment/Admissions Team will review the child's Application and documentation, and if they feel the student would benefit from the Virtual Autism Program, they will contact the family to schedule several Zooms - one with the Parent(s)/Guardians(s) and another with the child. 
  • All parties will discuss whether a placement is appropriate for the child.
  • if the placement is approved, a start date will be determined, followed by an Initial Remote Learning Plan, Assessments, and the development of an IEP or ISP.
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