A Live Controversy: Autism and a Family’s Determination by Roxana and Joseph Hartmann

Roxana and Joseph Hartmann’s struggle for an equal education for their autistic child is as riveting as it is heart rending. For twenty years, they fought for their son, Mark, to be included in classrooms where he would not be treated differently because of his disability. Rather than let his disability determine his schooling, the Hartmanns became actively involved in the educational process. Working tirelessly, they struggled with a school system that could be cooperative, cold, or even hostile to them and their desire to give Mark a chance at an education that was equal to his classmates’. After years of red tape and legal battles, the Hartmann’s hard work finally culminated in the landmark disabilities case,Hartmann v. The Loudon County Board of Education.  Although they ultimately lost the case, it was still a decision that proved a victory for Roxana, Joseph, and the families of special needs children everywhere—but especially, for Mark.

A story of love, courage, and determination, A Live Controversy is a must-read for families and educators of children with disabilities, and for anyone interested in the struggle for equality.


Praise for A Live Controversy 

“…A Live Controversy is a rich, comprehensive study with national significance for inclusive education; it is also an inspirational tale of what it takes for parents, schools and communities to do right for all children.”     -Frank Laski, Esq., Past President, TASH”A Live Controversy has it all, for the parent, the educator, and the related service provider for children with autism. It is a must read if you work with or represent children with disabilities…. You will learn how to avoid becoming part of the problem, and instead become part of the solution.”       -Peter W. D. Wright, Esq., co-author Wrightslaw: Special Education Law; Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy; Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind. Adjunct Faculty, Special Education Law and Advocacy, William and Mary School of Law”An amazing story of adversity and victory against impossible odds. Provides much needed inspiration for parents to move ahead in advocacy and to provide a quality of life for all of their children. It is clear these parents deeply love their child.”       -Thomas McKean, Partner in Policymaking, Colonel, HOKC author, Soon Will Come the Light: A View From Inside the Autism Puzzle; author, Light On the Horizon: A Deeper View From Inside the