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Cordova mom makes virtual sensory classroom for her son

“We saw more focus, a little bit more participation,” said Kelly Mort, a Cordova parent.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We are near the end of the first semester of school which for most was completely virtual. While many have gotten into a routine, that doesn’t mean everything is smooth sailing.  

Local 24 News’ Nextdoor Reporter Brittani Moncrease spoke with a Cordova parent who had a little advice for virtual learning for students with special needs.

Our Nextdoor parents have been very vocal about virtual learning. We’ve seen many ask for help, particularly when it comes to teaching students with special needs.  

Within those posts, a Cordova parent came up with a solution.  

For Cordova mom, Kelly Mort, the first two weeks of virtual learning were definitely different from recent weeks.

“At first, I was like, ‘Oh gosh! What did I just get myself into? How are we going to do this' and what not,” said Mort. 

Mort has two young boys. The oldest is 5-year-old Connor. 

“He has delayed, developmental delays, and autism spectrum disorder,” said Mort. 

That created a challenge when it came to virtual learning.  

“A room with just like a wall, like tan, brown, it can be distracting to him. It could be bouncing off light,” said Mort.

She turned her bedroom closet into a full out sensory classroom. 

“We have his fab four. We put classroom rules up and behavior for the week up there, his colors and shapes, his left and right, where his headphones are supposed to go, his alphabet,” said Mort. “The teacher said that it kind of gives him a false classroom setting where once he enters this room, he cannot bring any type of food, no pets.” 

Most importantly, Connor enjoys it! 

“We saw more focus, a little bit more participation,” said Mort. “When we tell him it’s time to go to school, he goes, ‘I’m going to my classroom.’” 

With that said, Mort has a little advice from one parent to another.

“Be creative. I know it’s hard…Make it fun. Be patient. The patience, we definitely need it a lot. If something is not working, keep in contact with your teacher. Find out what works for them,” said Mort. 

If you have any advice for virtual learning, share them with us on Nextdoor.