There is no plug-and-play therapy for RAD implementation that will “fix” our child.
Give Me A Break! I’ve Tried That a Million Times!
You, the readers of my blog are so kind. I almost never get a negative word directed at me or my articles in the comments section. But it must be frustrating sometimes as you read about things that have worked for me and my family. The other day, I asked someone for advice on a non-RAD issue. The person told me what I should do just before I rolled my eyes. “Are you kidding me? Do you really think I haven’t tried that yet? It doesn’t work! I’ve tried it a million times! What else have you got?” That’s the trouble with RAD implementation. So many things just don’t work. Wait. If they worked for someone, I guess they worked. But there are no guarantees. It’s not like putting a patch on a flat tire.
There is no plug-and-play therapy for RAD implementation that will “fix” our child.
We hear other people (and you listen to me) telling you how everything will be OK if you do what I did, or if you just do it long enough. Well, here’s a news flash. It might not be OK. Let me re-phrase that. Life will eventually be OK. But everything might not be OK, even if you do everything right. Wait. That implies there’s a right way to handle RAD; one right way. That is so false. Don’t get me wrong. There are some correct principles that help to a degree in all situations with children from hard places, including those who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder… We need to be brutally consistent without being brutal. We need to work against our instincts to return evil for evil so that we can help our child establish a positive self-image. We must do all we can to stop triangulation and manipulation. It is important to continue to teach cause and effect; forever. Even so, there is no plug-and-play therapy for RAD implementation that will “fix” our child.
There are two things I would like to address when it comes to therapy, methods, and RAD implementation.
I like to maintain a blog that fosters encouragement and hope. So far, this article hasn’t done that. But if what has worked for others hasn’t worked for you, and if you have tried everything in all of the blogs, articles and books a million times, there is still hope that something will work. There are two things I would like to address when it comes to therapy, methods, and RAD implementation. Those two things are combinations and time.
“Difference” is one critical thing you must understand about methods and RAD implementation.
There are subtle signs with our kids that help us to notice if something helps or not. But since improvements are temporary and often short-lived, we chalk up another method in the loss column. We can’t do that. We need to keep track of what works, even in a small degree. Keep a journal on your computer. Write down the short-term effects of methods that you try. As you start to see ideas and methods that work in the short term, combine them with other such methods. When something just flat doesn’t work, move on; even if the smartest RAD expert in the world touts the method as earth shattering. You are different from other RAD parents. Your child is different from other children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder. Difference is one critical thing you must understand about methods and RAD implementation.
Let me tell you, it is difficult to try to get the same compound to act like rubber sometimes and aluminum in other situations! PTFE implementation is almost as difficult as methods for RAD implementation!
Before selling the company that my brothers and I spent 20 years building, much of my time was spend engineering pumps made from polytetrafuoroethylene (PTFE). That’s a real mouthful for what Dupont trademarks as Teflon®. Our air-operated pumps are used in semiconductor manufacturing plants around the world. The reason that they needed to be made from PTFE is that the material is affected by almost no chemicals. It is ideal for handling the most aggressive acids known to the world, which are used in the manufacture of microchips. The difficulties of working with PTFE include its inherently weak structural properties and that though it is somewhat pliable, it has nowhere near the flex characteristics of rubber compounds. Even so, since it is the material that must be used, it is expected to hold structural shape in areas where reinforced plastics or even metal would be desired. At the same time, it is used in places where flex and stretching would typically be handled by rubber compounds. Let me tell you, it is difficult to try to get the same compound to act like rubber sometimes and aluminum in other situations! PTFE implementation is almost as difficult as methods for RAD implementation!
I knew we couldn’t say impossible. We needed to get creative. We needed to be aggressive at combining methods and we needed time to make our RAD implementations work.
Our success in pump engineering was determined by thinking outside the box. We tried things that had never been tried before. We refused to say the word impossible. In fact, we had a rule at the business. It was against the rules to say impossible. People were required to explain how expensive it would be to accomplish a goal rather that saying it was impossible. After all, we reasoned… it wasn’t impossible to put people on the moon… It was just expensive. When people came to meetings with astronomical numbers, we told them that the cost didn’t fit in the budget and their job was to go back and find a less expensive way to accomplish the goal. This removal of the “impossible” excuse spawned tons of creative thoughts and ideas. Soon, a little company that started out as a garage shop was the world leader in air-driven chemical pumps. So, as I looked at difficulties with my children who suffered from Reactive Attachment Disorder, I knew we couldn’t say impossible. We needed to get creative. We needed to be aggressive at combining methods and we needed time to make RAD implementation work.
A non-specific “years and years and years” was not an acceptable timeline for engineering or budgeting so we needed to find other ways to predict success, just as I would use in later years with methods for RAD implementation.
As we developed the bellows of our pump, (the expanding, flexing portion that drives the fluid) we were up against huge challenges. We had a goal to develop a bellows that would last for two years, running at redline pressures, 24/7. That was hundreds of times longer than any competitor. Because the material was so weak, we could not apply extra air pressure to accelerate life testing. Two years of testing took two years. So, if we tested for a year and designs didn’t work, we needed to start over. After a new beginning, if a design failed at 18 months, we were two-and-a-half years behind, starting over again. A non-specific “years and years and years” was not an acceptable timeline for engineering or budgeting so we needed to find other ways to predict success, just as I would use in later years with methods for RAD implementation.
Being meticulous to detail is what will make us successful in methods for RAD implementation.
Since we took PTFE (the only material we could work with) from its rawest form and went through processes including pressing, curing, heating, cooling, rough machining, stress relieving, and final machining, there were many areas where we could affect the material. During each stage we developed new tests to tell us how we affected the structural and flex properties of the material. We began to fine tune each process to give us the best results in whichever material properties we desired for the particular part we were designing. As we became meticulous in producing the best material qualities we could get, the engineered parts became better and better. Being meticulous to detail is what will make us successful in methods for RAD implementation.
We just knew that we needed to have all processes as close to perfect as we could get them to produce our desired results. It worked. And it is the same with RAD implementation.
Particularly in the bellows, we paid attention to even the most subtle indicators that something was making the desired qualities of the material better or worse. Then, as we tweaked a process, we found that the material was different in the next process and we would tweak that. Sometimes, a tweak in a later process even allowed us to go back to a primary process and improve it yet again. This back and forth, forward and backward improvement allowed our company to achieve things that our competitors believed were impossible. PTFE process implementation taught me how to do RAD implementation of methods to help my children. The key was that we needed to combine multiple methods and improvements simultaneously. We needed to watch for subtle, almost imperceptible changes to know that we were doing the right things long before we began life-testing. Then we needed the time for life testing. There wasn’t enough time to do it over. We couldn’t accelerate the testing. We just knew that we needed to have all processes as close to perfect as we could get them to produce our desired results. It worked. And it is the same with RAD implementation.
As the parent of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, you don’t get to choose the material you work with. You got what you got. It has strengths and weaknesses. It has some incredibly difficult weaknesses. But if you combine the different methods that you have seen, learned about and acquired, you will see subtle indicators that tell you if you are improving or hindering the qualities in the material you need to work with. Mix up the methods. Watch for subtle indicators, then change the methods ever so slightly. Keep going back. Keep making changes. As you do every little thing you can to improve the methods, you will get the best product you can get based on the material you were required to use. The imperfect materials you had to work with will be the best that they can be. People will see what you have done and will say that you accomplished the impossible. They will say it is miraculous. Who knows? Maybe it will be miraculous. And when it is time for life-testing, you will know that your child is as good as you could help them to be. Then, if you measure correctly, you will be happy with your efforts as well as the results. But you will know that those miracles didn’t come without a lot of hard work, dedication and one simple little rule… never say impossible.
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