- December 6, 2017
- Posted by: Dr. Elise Cohen Ho
- Category: Parenting & Family
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.
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.
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.