Laura Kirby-McIntosh is the proud mother of two beautiful teenagers on the autism spectrum: her son Clifford, and her daughter Clara. She is an Ontario Certified Teacher and spends most of her time professionally teaching and writing about Civics and Law. She coaches the Mock Trial team and the social justice club at her school. Laura is also an experienced writer and a long-time political organizer and activist. She currently serves as the Vice-President of the Ontario Autism Coalition.
Laura’s journey as an Autism mother and advocate began in 2003 when her son Clifford was diagnosed with ASD. Her daughter Clara was diagnosed in 2006. Though both kids have had their challenges, they are both now happy and outspoken teenagers. Being raised by activist parents, and with their own independent work with the Youth Advisory Committee for the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, both Clara and Clifford are now advocates in their own right.
Laura has written articles and content for the Toronto Star, the Ministry of Education and a law teacher’s journal called “Class Action.” Laura has learned the art of speaking truth to both to those in power and to the media. She has appeared on Global TV, CBC, CTV and City TV and has been a guest on CBC’s Metro Morning. She has met with dozens of MPP’s, a number of Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers and has provided autism briefings to senior officials in the provincial government.
In this current fight, Laura is working to broaden the base of the Ontario Autism Coalition, mentor future leaders, and leverage the power of social media. She believes that she has not only an opportunity but a duty to use her unique skill set to empower others, and is determined that she will not rest until all individuals with autism—regardless of age—have the supports and services that they deserve.