Derek Volk shares experience of raising a son with Autism with UNE students

Derek Volk addresses a crowd of UNE students and community members
Derek Volk addresses a crowd of UNE students and community members

March 16, 2017

Volk discussed the challenges raising a son with Autism, from early childhood to adulthood
Volk discussed the challenges raising a son with Autism, from early childhood to adulthood
Students sat in interprofessional groups for the program
Students sat in interprofessional groups for the program

Derek Volk, a Maine business owner and father, gave a presentation at the University of New England in Biddeford on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, about raising a son on the Autism spectrum.

Volk is a supporter of Autism awareness, volunteer, philanthropist softball coach and author. In Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum, Volk shares his experiences raising a son on the Autism spectrum. Both Dylan and Derek Volk 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. The book showcases the unique relationship between a father and his son who has spent his entire life chasing the rabbit.

The event was sponsored by the UNE Department of Health, Wellness and Occupational studies and the UNE Interprofessional Education Collaborative. Students from all of UNE’s health professions programs were invited to watch in person on the Biddeford Campus and via live stream on the Portland Campus.

“We see this talk as an important way to learn about the experience of living with disability from the first-person narrative,” said Health, Wellness and Occupational Studies Director Caryn Husman. “Too often people who have disabilities are unable to speak for themselves, sometimes because they cannot communicate, but more often because people simply won’t listen. Sessions such as these work to break the barriers and challenge stereotypes, while helping UNE students become more empathetic and informed health care providers in the future.”

To learn more about the University of New England’s Westbrook College of Health Professions visit www.une.edu/wchp

To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions

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