LORRAINE M DUVALL
Without RestraintRobert C. DeLena & Ryan C. DeLena
As a child Ryan DeLena had difficulty controlling his emotional outbursts. This led to placement in therapeutic schools that relied on detrimental methods of behavior modification such as physical restraints.
Nothing helped from a team of doctors to heavy medication. Then in 2010, Ryan was voluntarily committed to a mental hospital for further evaluation. His parents Rob and Mary Beth were counseled to place him in a group home. They refused.
Two years earlier, after an impulsive decision Rob had to take Ryan skiing, he discovered a different child than the version experts were so sure about. By his second day of skiing, Ryan was executing advanced runs, and with each conquest in the winters that followed, Rob began to question the path laid for his son by the professionals paid to judge him. He later convinced Mary Beth to fight the medical and educational complexes over Ryan’s care and school placement, and together they fostered the freedom Ryan needed to pursue his dream of becoming a professional ski mountaineer.
Written in two voices, Without Restraint is a joint father-son memoir told with both pain and levity, struggle and strength, adventure and heart. It is the story of a misunderstood boy, a father’s growth, and a shared love of the outdoors that formed their unbreakable bond.