Having a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is certainly a difficult yet rewarding task. It comes with a set of challenges that most are not prepared for, and most often not informed enough on. Feeling as if you are constantly failing as a parent while watching your child struggle with what should be a “normal thing” is hard. But know that you are not alone. In fact, it has been shown that 1 in 54 children will be born on the Autism Spectrum. There are so many others in your situation, and this is what spurred this week’s guest on The Malliard Report.
“Derek Volk is the author of the internationally acclaimed Amazon bestseller, Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum. Derek is a Maine businessman, a supporter of Autism awareness, volunteer and philanthropist who, along with his family, was recently named the 2015 Spurwink “Humanitarian of the Year.” He is currently the president and co-owner of Volk Packaging Corporation, a third-generation, family-owned, corrugated box manufacturer in Biddeford, Maine. Derek actively participates in the Maine Business Leadership Network (BLN), a national organization that focuses on connecting employers with potential employees who have disabilities. His own company currently employs those who are deaf, blind and on the autism spectrum.” Derek also felt the calling to write a book documenting the story of raising his son Dylan. “In Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum, Derek Volk shares his experiences raising a son on the Autism spectrum. Both Dylan and Derek write about the challenges, triumphs and coping strategies from the early days to the adolescent years to life in the “real world” as a young adult. This book showcases the unique relationship between a father and his son who has spent his entire life chasing the rabbit.”
This is a great episode and features more than just a father’s struggle, it also features cardboard boxes. Yes, cardboard boxes, and it actually is quite humorous and interesting. You can keep up with Derek and Dylan and their latest speaking engagements, purchase their book, and even find Dylan’s YouTube channel through the website chasingtherabbit.org. For all things Malliard head over to malliard.com or reach out on any of the social media platforms @Malliard.