Feel Good News: Sandwich Community rallies for Deaf Child


After The Boston Globe shared a story about 20 people learning sign language to be able to communicate with a deaf child in the neighborhood, we wanted to share a story about the time it happened right here on Cape Cod.

Every weekday at 7:20 a.m., Ralphie Marino and I discuss a Feel Good News story. Every story is about people helping people, the kindness of strangers, or the strength of community. When I read the story about the community learning sign language, as a mom of two boys, it really touched me.

When we posted the link on 99.9 The Q’s web page, a listener commented that similar thing had happened right here on Cape Cod.

Danielle’s son, JT, was born with hearing difficulties. “It’s kind of crazy; it feels like such a long time ago with our son, JT, as an infant with little hearing aids, not knowing if he would ever be able to have spoken language,” said Danielle.

When JT was born he failed his newborn hearing screening test, so he was referred for a second opinion. At 11 days old, he was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf. At that time, the family didn’t know if he’d be a candidate for cochlear implants.

Danielle said that the Department of Health provided home visits from a deaf instructor to teach the family and anyone else sign language, and many of her neighbors joined in.

“During that time, to see how many people rallied around us on Cape Cod, was astounding! We don’t have any family on the Cape, but our neighbors and community have played such a huge part in helping JT to succeed,” said Danielle.

When JT was 3 years old, he began attending preschool at the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech, in Canton. At just 3 years old, he would get on the van each day at 7:15 a.m. and commute basically to Boston and back. “He loved it and had excellent services there,” said Danielle, ”After a little over 2 years commuting there daily (and we had received an autism diagnosis as well during that time), we decided to move him back to our home district in Sandwich where the Spinnaker program in the Forestdale school is phenomenal with providing therapy for autism! We were relieved to have his commute be 12 minutes instead of hours.”

And, once again, the neighbors came out to support JT and celebrate a milestone in his life.

“On his first day of school in Sandwich, our neighbors and dear friends lined our street with balloons and handmade signs, wishing JT well in his new school,” said Danielle. “So, really and truly, everyone continues to have his back and watch over him.”

Listen for Feel Good News Stories every weekday morning at 7:20am with Ralphie and Rebecca on 99.9 the Q. If you know of a Feel Good Story contact [email protected]

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.

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