Vision therapy and occupational therapy are used these days to enhance the performance skills and prevent dysfunction in the people suffering from physical, behavioural and emotional issues. In order to find the better therapy of the two and make a comparison between them one should have brief information about them.
Vision therapy can be defined as a series of activities recommended and observed by the doctors on individual basis to process and develop the visual skills of the patients efficiently. This therapy is normally recommended as an appropriate treatment option after performing thorough examination of the eyes of the patients.
The success of vision therapy program is based on the needs of the patient, results of standard tests and the symptoms and signs of the problem. Therapists usually use prisms, lenses, occluders, filters, computer programs and special instruments as the integral part of this therapy.
The individualized treatment program designed for vision therapy to correct perceptual cognitive deficiencies and/or visual-motor and enhancing the ability of the brain of the patient to control the alignment of the eyes, teaming and tracking the eyes, improving the focusing abilities of the eyes and controlling the movement of the eyes through visual processing. After improving the visual abilities and skills patients are encouraged to improve them automatically through repetitive practices by including cognitive and motor functioning in their routine life.
The focus of occupational therapy is to enhance the performance of infants, children and adults in their routine life by dealing with their functional skills. In this therapy therapists work to enable their participation in movement, work, school, play as well as in routine life along with improving their performance individually. They promote success, function and development of the patients suffering from the physical, developmental, social, emotional or behavioural problems by maximizing their independence, performance ability and preventing dysfunction.
They involve sensory integration and processing in this therapy to know how the brain of the patient receives, organizes and uses the information from all of his senses to coordinate his behaviour, performance and emotions in his day-to-day life. Therapists respond according to the inputs of these sensory processes. But disorder in sensory integration and processing is noticed when these processes significantly interfere the daily life of the patients. Therapists provide special evaluation and treatments in sensory processing, integration and modulation, motor planning, self regulation, postural balance and control, gross and fine motor skills, writing skills and muscle tone to influence their coordination, performance and behaviour in their daily life.
Vision therapy vs occupational therapy
According to various experts, both of these therapies intersect each other. Occupational therapist may not be able to enhance visual motor integration and eye-hand coordination as they have not received deep training about the use of prisms, lenses and filters, so far as visual perception is concerned. Similarly if a patient has difficulty with sensory integration then it can be co-managed by the vision therapist with occupational therapist as vision is a set of sensory-motor systems.
Thus it is not easy to say which therapy is better, vision therapy or occupational therapy, as both are complementary.