Denise Sherman Boots to Business Albany NY

Military Veteran Launches Project to Help Families with Autistic Children Age at Home

My journey to becoming a real estate agent began when I realized that I needed to retire from the military. My military career was an adventure that provided many skills that I can adopt in this new environment.

It was a bittersweet decision because my goal was to become a general officer. This decision happened because we are raising a son with autism. Like many other families, we needed to decide to provide fulltime care for our son.

Joining the Air Force

Joining the Military

My first introduction to the military happened during Career Day in high school while I was a senior. The Air Force recruiter brought the four of us to the 109th Air National Guard base for a tour.

After seeing everything they had to offer I was hooked and knew what I wanted to do. I raised my hand to take the oath to defend our country.

I loved serving in the military. We made an impact in our communities and other countries. I enjoyed the camaraderie and the relationships that I developed over the years. I am very thankful our family survived a deployment to Iraq.

I have attended many retirement ceremonies but did not think my time would arrive so soon, but I had to bid farewell to an organization that I loved to serve. We realized the demands for serving can be stressful on our family especially with our son having autism.

Making a decision to retire

Trying to Balance Two Careers

My husband and I took steps to help me remain serving in the military. We tried different support opportunities for our son. During the younger years, he attended preschool that focused on autism and a daycare program. His attendance at daycare lasted less than 30 days.

Unfortunately, the daycare staff reported that he was too restless during nap time and did not listen to instructions. They believed he required too much hands on attention for their team and they could not support his needs.

Retiring from Military Albany NY

Adapting to Change

Retiring from the military before I reached the top of my career ladder was disheartening but I had peace in my heart that I was making the right decision. Embracing change is a skill that was developed over time from my career.

I operated in an environment of moving to many units at different locations with various types of missions. In this environment I learned to stay motivated, adapt, and continue to be an essential part of the team.

Retiring from the military

Transition to Civilian Life

Preparing for the transition to civilian life required me to assess my skills and decide what industry I wanted to be a part of. I decided to join the real estate corps because I was able to connect with families in the community and help them solve their real estate concerns. Also, in this industry, I have a flexible schedule and can work from home.

Preparing for the change of managing my business, I decided to participate in the Boots to Business program. This program is for veterans who are interested in starting a business. It has valuable training that helped me achieve my goal to becoming a business owner.

Working from Home in Albany NY

Working from Home Benefits

It has been eight years since the retirement. Making the decision to work from home in a career that has flexibility was the best decision for our family. It allows us to provide him the necessary daily supports. Our son is now in his teens and so many changes occurred.

He still needs continuous, one to one care because he does not always listen to instructions and does not understand the risks that can occur during daily living. There have been many occasions that I needed to pick him up early from school due to his behavior. It is a stress reliever that I do not need to ask to leave work early to pick up our son.

Faith in Jesus Albany NY

Lessons from Suffering

Our suffering has taught me to pray more and be better and not bitter. As well as be a blessing to others who are struggling. I have learned to rely on my faith in Jesus to be better and not bitter from the obstacles I have endured.

I rely on Bible verse Hebrews 12:2, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. This verse helps me from spiraling down the pit of self-pity.

Autism Awareness Aging at Home

Launching the Project

Being a blessing to others is very important to me. The lessons I have learned during our struggles does help other families handle their challenges. A major concern I hear from families is where their child will live when they become adults.

My husband and I had numerous conversations and we decided that our son will grow old in his own home. We have identified a goal so now it is up to us to design the plan.

I have decided to launch a project to share our journey in helping our son grow old in his own home. This project will show you our research and the steps we have taken to design his future.

We want to stop wasting time worrying about his future and take advantage of the time to solve the problem with designing a plan. I hope our research can help other families.

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