‘Counting On’ Fans Think Josie Duggar Is Showing Signs of Developmental Delays

We’ve been following the Duggars ever since their 19 Kids and Counting years, and now, the family’s still staying relevant with their TV show Counting On. Many of the Duggar kids we grew up getting to know are all grown up with families of their own now, and they continue to dominate the spotlight. But we can’t forget that many of the other children in the family are just in their teens — and the youngest member of the family, Josie, is only 9 years old.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar offer occasional updates of their daughter, Josie, and fans are starting to make assumptions of their own. It seems many are starting to think Josie may have developmental delays. Here’s why.

Josie has had multiple health issues since birth

The Duggars have been very open and honest about their childbirth difficulties, and we remember when Michelle Duggar gave birth to Josie at just 25 and a half weeks. People reports Josie was just over a pound a half when she was born, and she also suffered from a bowel perforation and required an abdominal drain as well as antibiotics. Thankfully, Josie made it, and, according to the Duggars, she’s doing better than ever. “That was the most difficult time in our family’s life, but by God’s grace Josie and our whole family made it through!” the family wrote on Instagram when Josie turned 9.

It seems being born prematurely has affected Josie in a few noticeable ways, however. People reminds us Josie had a seizure on an episode of 19 Kids and Counting when she was 5. As Michelle said, “One of the little glitches for Josie is that if she runs a fever, she does have the tendency to have febrile seizures. It might happen just like that; she’ll spike a temp when you least expect it, and she’ll have a seizure.”

Duggar fans noted Josie’s speech patterns seem off

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Josie made some new friends!

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While the Duggar family maintains Josie is doing very well with her studies and her developmental growth, viewers of 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On seem to have different opinions based on what they’ve seen. One Reddit user started a thread stating, “Has anybody else noticed that Josie Duggar has trouble speaking intelligibly?” and many added their thoughts. “I definitely think her speech delays are due to her being premature as the other comment stated,” one user commented. From a similar Reddit thread, another user added, “The worst part about Josie is she would have qualified for speech, OT etc but they won’t use the system. They could also have designated one of the older girls to individually teach Josie rather than just throw her on the dogpile.”

Fans have also taken note in the past that the homework Josie is completing doesn’t seem to be up to average standards, either. This led many to believe she may have special needs she’s not getting proper attention for.

Others think the family may just be babying Josie

Does Josie actually need extra assistance or occupational therapy to help with her speech patterns? We’re not sure — though another popular fan theory is that Michelle and the rest of the Duggars are just babying Josie since she’s the youngest of the group. As one Reddit user noted in the original thread, “Also a thing that just seems to happen in big families -the baby of that many kids gets babied to death and so they don’t develop at a normal pace simply because there’s always a sibling around to help them/do it for them faster, like when we see Jill just automatically start feeding her.” Other fans seem to think Michelle misses the feeling of having an infant and thus babies Josie to keep her as “helpless for as long as possible.”

We’re not sure what’s really going on with Josie, of course, but we assume it’ll become clearer as she ages if her premature birth is affecting her developmentally. Either way, we wish the best for the family and the youngest Duggar.

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