Grand-daughter of a Welsh coal-miner, Thelma Wheatley was educated in Wales and read English at the University of Wales and did her M.A. English at York University, Toronto, after immigrating to Canada in the 1960s. She taught English and History in the Toronto area, later specializing in teaching developmentally challenged and autistic children. One of her children, Julian, is autistic. Her first book, My Sad Is All Gone, A Family’s Triumph Over Violent Autism (Lucky Press, Ohio), was published in 2004 and will be reprinted by Inanna Publications & Education Inc. in 2013/14.
Past president of Autism Society Ontario, Peel Region, Wheatley continues to be an advocate for autistic and intellectually challenged persons and is in demand as a speaker on rage behaviours and autism. In 2004, Thelma went to Africa with a volunteer group, Hands Across The Nation, to help Africans in Mali build a field hospital in a small rural village in the Sahara Desert. She is currently co-editor of the Friends of the Archives Newsletter, History of Psychiatry, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto.
Wheatley’s short stories and poems have been published in magazines and literary journals in Canada, including Chatelaine, Room of One’s Own,Canadian Woman Studies.
Thelma lives in the Greater Toronto area.