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Joy-Anna Duggar Opens Up About Son’s Learning Difficulties: Yes, He’s a Little Behind


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The Duggars bizarre beliefs extend beyond the realms of religion, sex, and relationships.

The family also holds some strange views with regard to child-rearing.

Some of the Duggars’ practices — such as the loathsome technique known as “blanket training” — have been condemned as abusive.

Others — such as the mistrust of all educational institutions and the insistence on homeschooling — are merely old-fashioned or controversial.

The homeschooling is mostly a result of the Duggars’ skepticism toward the secular world and the government.

Some critics fear that this skepticism could lead to their children being denied proper medical care, particilarly with regard to their development and mental health.

So they were happy about the latest updates from Joy-Anna Duggar and husband Austin Forsyth regarding the couple’s 3-year-old son Gideon.

Concerned about possible cognitive delays, the couple not only scheduled an appointment for a screening, they also shared their decision with fans.

This sort of transparency can go a long way toward removing the stigma surrounding developmental issues in young children.

“We went ahead and scheduled a screening test for Gideon,” Joy, 24, said in a video that she posted over the weekend.

“For a few months now, I’ve kind of had a few concerns about his learning. I feel like he’s a little bit behind.”

Joy says she didn’t want to hold her son to an unfair standard, acknowledging that “it’s not great to compare him to other kids.”

“I also know he’s 3 years old and I don’t want to, like, have too high of expectations, but I just want for my peace of mind and for him, to go get it checked out,” Joy added.

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While she didn’t go into great detail, Joy mentioned that she noticed Gideon hasn’t been “talking that well.”

She also said that this is not the first time someone her family has undergone this sort of testing.

“I know my sister Jessa took her son Henry into get screened about a year and a half ago,” Joy pointed out.

“He was a little bit behind, but they took him in a year later and she had used all the different tips that our friend had told her to do, and he was, like, ahead, [and] doing great.”

After the testing was completed, Joy shared Gideon’s encouraging results with her fans.

She noted that her son “did really well with expressive [language],” but his receptive language “could use a little bit of sharpening.”

The response in her comments was not only supportive, but grateful, as many parents thanked Joy for being so candid.

While all of the Duggars have been keeping a lower profile in the wake of Josh Duggar’s conviction on child pornography charges, it’s not uncommon for Joy to take to social media to share updates about her home life.

“We normally sing the alphabet song, say our numbers, shapes and colors,” Joy wrote at the time over a recent Instagram Story in which she could be seen working with her two kids.

Joy explained in a caption that he “learned his shapes really quickly,” adding that he was “still struggling a little” with more complex shapes.

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“We’ve been talking a lot about goals for this next year, what our plans are,” Joy said in an Instagram Story posted in December.

“Something we decided to do this next year is at the beginning of each month we’re going to talk about our goals for that month, and I think that’ll help us stay more motivated on our long-term goals as well.”

As anyone who’s ever raised children knows, it can be difficult to find a balance between making sure your kid is on track and not placing too much pressure on them.

Which is why it’s so helpful when someone like Joy sparks an open discussion about these issues.


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Bellie Brown
Bellie Brown
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