Maria Fuentes Arrocha
I graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) and completed my Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy in 1999 whilst working in rural practice and raising a young family. We moved to Perth in 2001 and though taking a pause professionally as our family continued to grow soon found myself drawing on my professional knowledge and skills as our son was diagnosed with ASD at age 3. He has given me invaluable insight into the intricate nature of family life when advocate, carer and therapist are added to the parenting role.
After my break from work I returned to paediatric practice and worked within the Child Development Services in diverse roles and locations including: a home visiting service at Koondoola and Joondalup Child Development Centres; 0 – 4 year old centre based caseload at Midland; and school age services at State Child Development Centre. In 2014 I made the move to private practice where as senior occupational therapist I was responsible for supervising Occupational Therapy students at a school, Kindergarten screenings, providing clinic based services for children under 5 and school based services at six metropolitan schools.
I established my own practice in 2017; so as to provide a truly family centred service that understands the complexity of modern day families and focuses on ability. It is timely also for our family as we enter a new phase with our son transitioning to life beyond school. I am passionate about working with young children and their parents, supporting them to become their child’s primary advocate and agent of change in their learning and development.
I graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) in 1990 and completed my Post Graduate Diploma in 1995, with specialist units in Counseling and Community development. I have over 15 years experience working in Occupational Therapy. My initial years of work were spent in the area of Mental Health, working in the country and then in Perth. This included a Senior position involving Centre Coordination and supervision of other staff.
After taking a break whilst having my own children I moved into the area of paediatrics. I spent several years working in the Government Child Development Services, at various locations within the North Metropolitan Region. My roles included developmental Occupational Therapy and several years in the Play and Learning program, home visiting and providing developmental support to young children and their families. With a strong belief in the importance of play and families’ capacity to support their children, I worked at Playgroup WA. The project involved setting up playgroups within schools to support the development of school readiness skills. I have been working in private practice since 2015, with special interest in supporting children’s emotional and social development and I enjoy working with families as they support their children.