Why ‘Counting On’ Fans Are Worried About Josie Duggar
Many of us have been watching Michelle Duggar, her husband, Jim Bob Duggar, and their huge bounty of children since 19 Kids and Counting. And we remember when the show was titled 17 Kids and Counting, though the couple chose to grow their family over the years. Now, over a decade since the series began, Josie, the 19th Duggar child (and the youngest of the family), is now 9 years old. After a particularly difficult birth for Michelle, fans are wondering how Josie’s doing today.
While most viewers of the latest Duggar show, Counting On, have faith that Michelle and Jim Bob are taking good care of Josie, some fans have concerns that the youngest Duggar isn’t where she should be developmentally. Here’s what’s led them to this conclusion.
Josie was born prematurely and had to fight for her life
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Josie was born on December 10, 2009 at 25 1/2 weeks gestation and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces. Today is a huge milestone for her, she is a healthy, happy 9 year old that is full of energy. We are so thankful for everyone's prayers and all of the doctors and nurses at Arkansas Children's Hospital that saved her life. That was the most difficult time in our family's life, but by God's grace Josie and our whole family made it through!
Michelle Duggar is no stranger to giving birth — but her complications with the birth of Josie were enough to worry her about any future pregnancies. People reminds us back in 2009, Josie was born almost three months prematurely, and she weighed just 1 pound 6 ounces at birth. She was born so early because Michelle developed preeclampsia during pregnancy, a life-threatening condition that sky rockets high blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Thankfully, Josie survived the birth and continued to develop safely in the hospital until she could be taken home, but the drama didn’t stop once she entered the world. As a baby, she also suffered a bowel perforation, though she thankfully didn’t need surgery. Michelle and Jim Bob credit God and the “prayers of people around the world” for allowing Josie to live through the premature birthing and the difficulties she experienced thereafter.
Fans think Josie might have special education needs she’s not getting
Today, Josie is seemingly thriving. While many would expect her to have some physical or mental barriers because of how prematurely she was born, neither Jim Bob or Michelle have brought it up — and she seems like a happy kid whenever the cameras were on her on TV. A recent post on social media has fans worried about her educational needs, however.
In Touch Weekly reports a friend of the Duggar family posted a photo of Josie completing her homeschooling homework. The caption read, “Look who finished the whole grade! #teacherlife #bestlife,” and Josie also looked quite proud for her accomplishments. Unfortunately, fans on Reddit noticed Josie’s schoolwork looked like it was at a way lower level than it should have been for someone her age. “I feel it’s reasonable to think that she might have special education needs. If so, the Duggars won’t know how to change the education curriculum to suit Josie’s needs,” one Reddit user commented. They continued with, “I worry that JB and Michelle probably are ignorant of education difficulties like Dyslexia (very common, very easily helped if managed properly), and instead having one of their strange IBLP beliefs about ‘curing’ needs like that.”
Josie may also take after her father, Jim Bob, who Michelle notes had learning difficulties in the past. “When my husband, Jim Bob, was a little boy he had a speech impediment, and he really struggled with reading,” Michelle wrote for TLC. “I noticed some of our kids had the same struggle,” she added. Michelle claimed her own homeschooling tactics worked great for all of her kids, however — so if Josie does have more educational needs, we’re not sure she’s getting that attention.
She’s also exhibited worrying health issues in the past
It’s not just Josie’s reading and writing level that’s alarmed Duggar fans in the past. We can’t forget that Josie also had a medical emergency in 2015 when she had a seizure. People reports the youngest Duggar was sitting with her older siblings, James and Jana, when she started staring off into space and shaking uncontrollably. She was then rushed to the hospital. It was later revealed that this wasn’t Josie’s first seizure, either. In fact, by the time she was 5 years old, she already had a history of having four of five of them.
As Michelle stated, “One of the little glitches for Josie is that if she runs a fever, she does have the tendency to have febrile seizures.” We’re betting Michelle and Jim Bob are doing everything they can to help their little one, but it still concerned viewers.
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