based on the memoir

“Without Restraint: How Skiing Saved My Son’s Life”



Doctors tell Rob DeLena that his four-year-old Autism-labeled son is destined to kill himself, his family, or end up in prison. Rob reluctantly follows their destructive regimen of physical restraint, drugs, and psychiatric hospitals. When he impulsively takes seven-year-old Ryan skiing, the mountains trigger a transformation that undeniably contrasts the dangerous kid the doctors and so-called experts perceived him to be.

This is the true story of how skiing saved Ryan’s life.


Ryan DeLena is an active and curious child who poses a challenge to conventional control, earning him the label of autism spectrum disorder. As experts intervene, they push for his placement in therapeutic schools employing harmful methods such as physical restraint, supplemented with significant doses of medication. Ryan’s parents, Rob and Mary Beth, unwittingly follow their advice, believing they have no choice. They’re told that if they don’t restrain, medicate, and institutionalize him, he will either kill himself, kill his loved ones or end up in prison.

In a bold and impulsive move one cold January day, Rob takes seven-year-old Ryan skiing at a local mountain. This unearths a profound revelation – a version of his son so different than the image painted by so-called experts. As Ryan fearlessly conquers the advanced double black diamond slopes within his first few days, Rob begins questioning the path dictated by those who paid to judge his son’s potential. The mountains become a sanctuary where Ryan’s behavioral struggles all but disappear, prompting his determined parents to wage war against the suffocating grip of the medical and educational systems.

This story is for anyone who has ever had to face crucial decisions on behalf of their child. Rob and Ryan’s extraordinary adventure will leave you breathless as they discover the transformative power of the mountains, traveling all over the world to ski the most challenging trails while forging an unbreakable bond that defies expectations.

In Ryan’s words...


Book global release:

April 2023

Written by Robert C. DeLena and Ryan DeLena

Falcon Publishing

“After everybody else failed Ryan DeLena, skiing saved his life.”

-ERIC WIBUR, New England Ski Journal

“Without Restraint had me hooked from the beginning. It’s a book about skiing, but it’s also a book about parenting. The book takes the reader on a journey into the difficult childhood and ultimate redemption of freeskier Ryan Delena...Reading how Ryan progresses from beginner on the magic carpet to world class free skier in short order makes Without Restraint a badass redemption story made for Netflix. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a movie at some point.”

-MATT NISWONGER, Adventure Sports Journal



Bud Tody

CEO/Executive Producer



Kerri Tabasky

Executive Producer/Development



*Screenplay available upon request.

Ryan’s socials:

Youtube Play Similar Logo

@ryan delena

Square Instagram Logo