Alfred "Alf" Norwood has been a Behavior Specialist at CDS Monarch for about six years. He currently works with individuals at Penbrooke Creative Opportunities (PCO) and six of the CDS Monarch residences (Calkins, Woodside, Peachtree, Macedon, Matthew and Stafford). Alf got started in the field when his nephew was diagnosed with autism at 18 months old. His goal as a behavior specialist is to help people to have more functional behaviors and increased independence, as well as to reduce the amount of medication that a person takes. He works with them one-on-one to identify their needs, overcome communication challenges and just be their friend. Recently, not only has Alf been helping out with extra residences on his case load, but he has also been spending time over the past three months to help create a new sensory room for the individuals at PCO, where they can recover from overstimulation.

"Alf has helped us out tremendously at PCO. He has gone above and beyond what he needs to do to ensure we have coverage and has provided staff with assistance in managing some extra special behavioral circumstances as of late," shared Ben Favata, PCO Site Manager. "Everyone at PCO really appreciates Alf for all the extra hard work he is putting in over here while splitting his time at other sites."

"I love watching people improve," says Alf. "If you can identify a person's needs, have patience, and expect only the best, then you will be able to see these improvements and growth happen." Alf also says that it is key to "build friendships with the people you are working with. Without a good relationship, you will not be able to help them grow."

In his free time Alf enjoys writing music, working out and sailing (he just bought a new boat!). He also spends some of his time on the weekends visiting with some of the individuals he works with and takes them out to do activities in the community.

Thank you Alf for all the dedication and compassion that you give to the individuals you assist, and for everything that you do to further the mission of CDS Monarch!

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