Monarch’s Group-Based Instruction Program

In addition to our 1:1 ILS training, Monarch offers group-based learning opportunities through our 1:2 and 1:3 ILS services, where individuals can learn about specific topics in a staff-guided, peer-supported environment.  The presence of one’s peers creates opportunities for conversations that would not otherwise occur, and positive role-modeling by peers can effectively lead to the internalization of knowledge that may be resisted were it to come from someone an individual did not relate to on a peer level.  We believe that group learning, guided by educated and trained staff, is a highly effective means of instruction on certain topics.

We provide instruction around the topics that are most pressing in our community, including those that may be considered “sensitive” or difficult to address.  We believe that ignoring important yet challenging areas of instruction—such as sexuality—puts adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities at a disadvantage when issues within those challenging life areas inevitably arise.  Through our group-based learning program, we seek to address these often-unmet needs for instruction in sensitive, safe, and engaging ways.  Group instruction will be tailored around shared areas of needed support and training that have been identified for two or more individuals, who are either currently served by Monarch or not currently served by Monarch and referred for specific instruction by their Regional Center Service Coordinator.  Instructors utilize engaging, evidence-based strategies for instruction that incorporate existing curricula as well as original material, tailoring teaching styles to the interests and support needs of the attendees.

Classes We Offer

Healthy Relationships:

Positive, supportive relationships are central to a high quality of life. Unfortunately, in addition to the typical strains that can occur within friendship and family dynamics, many individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities find themselves in unhealthy or exploitative relationships.  This class will explore the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, romantic or otherwise, and teach individuals the skills needed to maintain a healthy relationship.

Stress management:

Many individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities experience some degree of anxiety or depression.  Developing strategies to cope with stress and other difficult emotions can be incredibly beneficial to individuals for whom stress may intensify already existent processing difficulties, or result in problematic behaviors.


The sexuality of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities is one of the least recognized or openly discussed areas of development.  Avoiding discussions about sexuality exacerbates the vulnerability of a population already disproportionately at risk for sexual violence.  Monarch seeks to create a safe space for discussing sexuality, so that individuals can be informed adults who know how to engage safely in the practices they choose to engage in, and who also know how to seek help when something has occurred that they did not choose.

Social skills/Social safety:

We live in a social world where one’s knowledge of social expectations and ability to socially engage is central to one’s success in an environment.  Further, many individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have not been taught how to socially interact in ways that are safe, appropriate, and effective.  This class will draw upon a several curricula for developing “social thinking” skills and encourage attendees to think critically and carefully about social safety.