When Derek Volk Embraced His Son’s Autism Diagnosis

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When Derek Volk Embraced His Son’s Autism Diagnosis

Derek Volk is a father of 4, a supporter of Autism awareness, philanthropist, softball coach, and a book author.

Derek’s oldest son, Dylan who is diagnosed with Autism, taught him to view fatherhood from a different perspective than most dads.

 

He states:

For years I struggled with and resented my son’s diagnosis.

It caused so much stress in my family’s life.

I learned how to be more understanding of his challenges as well as needs.

The day I embraced Dylan’s, Autism diagnosis was a very proud and successful moment.   

 

Derek and Dylan co-authored Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum.

 

Learn more about Dylan at www.chasingtherabbit.org

 

 

From another dad, he has learned that life as a parent goes by too quickly and to take every moment you can.

[ctt template=”8″ link=”c0o10″ via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]You’re only as happy as your saddest kid. ~ Ken Volk (Derek’s Dad)[/ctt]

Derek tells us that his dad was a wonderful role model and that he also admires Chuck Fabian.

Chuck works at my company (Volk Packaging Corporation) as a sales rep and has two outstanding young men for sons.  They are both police officers.   I have always been impressed by the way Chuck was able to not only build tremendous bonds with both his sons but also hold them to strict discipline and respect for him.

When asked what he does well as a dad, Derek states…

I prioritize what is important to all my kids.

It doesn’t matter whether it was my son who was obsessed with birds or my daughter who played softball or another daughter who did musicals or the one who cheers. I’m there for them and take pleasure in whatever it is that gives them joy.    

 

Derek received the 2015 Spurwink Humanitarian of the Year Award and is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Amy.  Amy is a Senator who is currently serving her third term in the Maine Legislature.

Derek actively participates in the Maine Business Leadership Network (BLN), a national organization that focuses on connecting employers with employees who have disabilities. His own company currently employs those who are deaf, blind and on the Autism Spectrum.

36 thoughts on “When Derek Volk Embraced His Son’s Autism Diagnosis”

  1. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle

    Such an important message, Elise. We will feature this on our Pit Stop. Thanks for being a valued co-host.

    Kathleen

  2. I think as parents we need to remove our baggage and allow the kids to do what they love to do, embrace it like he said: bird watching, cheerleading, or whatever. All children are miraculous gifts (all Humans are) and learning to embrace daily with all the ups and downs.

  3. this is very sweet. must be hard having to deal with these types of disabilities in their kids, but any parent given a child with such disabilities was given a gift that God knew that they could handle.

  4. I loved the quote about only being as happy as your saddest kid, it’s a great reminder and a good way to keep things in perspective. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story!

  5. So many stories like this surfacing in recent years. Its inspiring to know that regardless of a persons situation they can lead happy fulfilled lives. Mindset and attitude play a huge role in it all…and of course the support from the parents in this case

  6. My oldest has autism and we’ve known it since he was about 3… sigh. He’s currently in the special education pre-k program at school and mostly doing well there at school. Here at home is another story… he’s out of control and your typical autism kid.

    1. I am happy to hear that he is doing well at school and hopeful that you will be able to help him to have better behavior at home. Keep in touch. I am looking to share additional resources on this important subject.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in Mindset, Stress Management, Emotional Health and the Brain-Gut Connection to it all.

During Elise's 30+ years of experience she has been honored to work closely with health and wellness pioneers such as Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. John Gray, and several others.

Dr. Ho holds multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.