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Sweet Fellowship

John David Autistic?

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Sweet Fellowship

I recall on another forum years ago that it was speculated that John David Duggar is autistic or has Aspergers.

 

He didn't have much airtime back then so it was more difficult to tell. Now he's older and making more appearances on the show, would you speculate that he is on the autism spectrum?

 

I personally don't know. I'm no expert in the field but do wonder if any of the Duggar kids have any mental health conditions.

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singsingsing

I know people on the autism spectrum... he just doesn't come across that way to me at all. To be blunt, I think he's just quiet and dumb. Really, with some people, they don't have a medical or psychological condition they just have a low IQ. I hate to say it but every time I've heard Jana talk she kind of comes across the same way. Just not all that bright.

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sorchah

Jana and John-David both seem sad to me. I don't think either is on the autism spectrum, but I can see why you might think that. I think their dispositions are just the result of a lot of blanket training and getting very little attention as children. Hasn't Michelle said she prefers girls? Maybe she was completely overwhelmed by the twins and then doted on Jill, Jessa, and Jinger more, which is why they turned out seemingly better adjusted. Josh, of course, is the typical firstborn.

They were six weeks premature, which I don't think is early enough to be a factor.

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Feberin

I'm not going to say it would be impossible because I don't actually know him or have much experience with the Autistic spectrum. I would think if he is on the spectrum he has to be very high functioning. He runs his own towing company, managed to negotiate the purchase of a house, became a constable and seems to enjoy being a volunteer firefighter. He's also trained to become a pilot, which was a long term dream of his growing up. He seems to be off camera in a lot of situations that would require social skills. He also has run twice as an alderman last time loosing by only 12 votes. I think he's fairly quiet and probably not the brightest bulb. I also think he's a bit of a jerk but he appears to be a very hard worker.

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RosyDaisy

I've always gotten a laid back, good 'ol boy attitude from JD. In my part of the South, that means a guy you can toss back a couple of beers and shoot the breeze with. My dad, fiancée, and male friends as good examples (minus the fundie part).

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nastyhobbitses
I know people on the autism spectrum... he just doesn't come across that way to me at all. To be blunt, I think he's just quiet and dumb. Really, with some people, they don't have a medical or psychological condition they just have a low IQ. I hate to say it but every time I've heard Jana talk she kind of comes across the same way. Just not all that bright.

This is something I wish people would realize. Yes, it is great that more people are getting at the very least a name for what's not quite right, and from there they can get the help and guidance they need to thrive, and it's awesome that people are slowly realizing that it's not shameful to have a learning disability or a psychiatric disorder, but not everyone has a disorder. Some people are just a couple fries short of a Happy Meal, and there's no shame in that.

Though with JD and Jana, I suspect that both of them would probably come off as a bit less dim if they'd actually gone to school.

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Dandruff

Agree with possibly dim vs. autistic.

It couldn't have been easy to be Jana and John. Their live births were probably all the proof their parents needed that Jesus was forgiving them for J'Caleb. Full-tilt Gothardism, probably less attention each since there were two of them, and Josh vying for the rest. Then more babies.

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HarryPotterFan

Josh probably didn't experience blanket training (at least not to the extend other siblings did) since Boob and J'chelle didn't convert to Gothardism until the miscarriage (so Josh probably would have been a toddler). Then comes JD and Jana, where their parents first try their hand at blanket training. That kind of abuse has to leave scars - emotionally, mentally, and cognitively. Then when all Michelle had was littles with no sister moms, kids would of been neglected. It's really awful to think about.

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AndyActually

Yeah John David seems more dumb than anything. He also seems completely checked out of DuggarLand for the most of the time.

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neuroticcat

I agree with them both being more reserved. I also think we have to factor in that the cameras do make a difference. I remember several times Jana and others have said that she's actually quite verbal and funny off-camera but she is very shy and reserved on screen.

Of course, they could be just saying that, but I think it makes more sense that some of the kids really don't enjoy the spotlight or screen time and would rather be on the sidelines during filming. I think John David's noticeable absence on the past few seasons seem to indicate this - now that he's grown, he's opting out.

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freejoyannatoo

No, I don't think he is on the autistic spectrum and that's a professional opinion.

I agree with much of what has already been said. JD and Jana almost certainly had the worst upbringing of any of the children in that Michelle was unable to cope, and she + JB were in the throes of the worst abuse of the children via their conversion to a vile "spare the rod and spoil the child" mentality.

The boys so far seem to be dividing into two camps - quiet and reserved (JD and Joe) versus noisy and sociable (Josh and Josiah). I see Jed, Jason, James and Justin as maybe more towards the quiet end and Jeremiah and Jackson perhaps as more social. Or maybe not - time will tell.

However, although JD seems quite unintelligent in comparison with Josh or Siah, he may just be extremely shy. Physically he is just about the most unattractive of all the boys and that must hurt. There were probably many comparisons made between him and Josh as they were growing up, and he won't have come out of that well.

What we do know however, is that he is very competent in his own sphere. JB trusts him to look after his rental property for example. He seems to be making a success of his business and has already achieved a number of his own ambitions.

As for keeping out of the madhouse that is 19 Kids and Counting, I can only applaud his good sense. It might be better for some of the others if they distanced themselves like that. Hopefully Joe will go down the same path.

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hollywood

No, I just think he is dim. The few times they have shown him speak I don't really understand him.

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JuicyDuggar

I don't think JD is on the spectrum either. I've worked with every shade of the autism spectrum, including those in college working toward a Bachelor's. The very intelligent ones still have a way about them that tips you off. JD is just a dopey good ole boy.

I do find it hard to believe that out of 19 children not one has any sort of disability. Josie seems like she could be on the spectrum but it's hard to determine that by her behavior and appearance due to her prematurity, her age, and her position in the family.

If they were in regular school I'm sure a few howlers would have been dx with ADHD.

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gustava

I don't think JD is stupid. Getting one's private pilot's license requires excellent spatial skills and solid math ability.

I think he's quiet, undereducated, a good ole boy, but like all the Duggar spawn, he was never given a chance to truly learn.

That he pursued his pilot's license does indicate ambition and commitment.

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formergothardite

I think he is a product of his upbringing. He was blanket trained meaning that curiosity was beaten out of him from the time he was a baby. He most likely never got a lot of parental attention unless it was for discipline, he was poorly educated and then as a young teen his parents started exploiting him on television to make money. If he could break free of his parents he could have a lot of potential.

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silverspoons

I have a child with autism & went back after grad school to get certified as an autism specialist.

I don't see JD as being on the spectrum from what we have seen of him on tv. In a family of 21 there are actually going to be variants of personality even though the Duggars try and stop too much individuality. Since we know Josh was the outgoing spokesperson , JD I think just took a quieter role. I wonder if he struggles with his place in the family belief system. JD took the same path as his dad, starting out with towing business & various jobs to save up money but he did not take the pat of early marriage. JD seems to like certain aspects of being conservative, we know he loves his guns & comes across as enjoying the strict gender roles. I personally would be embaressed if anyone knew at 24, my 74 year old grandma did my laundry & my 21 year old sister made my sandwiches & someone else made my bed.

Another fact JD remembers the poor days of family Duggar. The line for the bathroom, 8-9 boys stuck in a small bedroom. He could be trying to save up to be comfortable & marry a women 5 or more years young & still have a large family. The thing is I don't think we ever get a really honest interview from the Duggars. Watching the show & interviews we hear the same stuff worded maybe a bit different over and over again. The only real honest comment I think we have heard reguarding JD & courtship was Josh saying JD would not be the next boy, it would be Josiah.

My husband was in the middle of 23 in a religious family. He was the quiet one that confused people. He said he struggled a lot between 17-23 in where he fit in his faith. He was torn between his family & what the real world had shown him. Again we have no idea where JD is in his thinking process. Shouldn't we be happy we are not seeing 9 duplicates of Josh? I think JD/Joseph and Josh/Josiah are the more similar pairings but at least this is showing the younger 6 boys that they all do not have to take Josh's path. This was the case for my husband. His example of going to college, travel, delaying marriage lead some of his younger siblings to do the same & 2 of the older divorced siblings wish now they had not married at 18 & 20 and waited. I say let JD be in the background, shy, working, whatever his reason.

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ljohnson2006

i guess we'll never know, because J'Chelle and Boob don't believe in getting their kids proper medical care. :wtf:

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HereticHick

I think he's just slow, and marginally educated. Joseph strikes me the same way as well. I also agree with those that point out that he may not want a mega family, and since he's been raised to think of birth control of any type as a mortal sin, delaying marriage may be the only way he can think of to not support a huge litter of kids. Jana may feel the same way.

Unfortunately, growing up poor and crowded, and then raising a huge handful of siblings, didn't seem to deter Jill from getting knocked up immediately.

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pennsatuckey
I have a child with autism & went back after grad school to get certified as an autism specialist.

I don't see JD as being on the spectrum from what we have seen of him on tv. In a family of 21 there are actually going to be variants of personality even though the Duggars try and stop too much individuality. Since we know Josh was the outgoing spokesperson , JD I think just took a quieter role. I wonder if he struggles with his place in the family belief system. JD took the same path as his dad, starting out with towing business & various jobs to save up money but he did not take the pat of early marriage. JD seems to like certain aspects of being conservative, we know he loves his guns & comes across as enjoying the strict gender roles. I personally would be embaressed if anyone knew at 24, my 74 year old grandma did my laundry & my 21 year old sister made my sandwiches & someone else made my bed.

Another fact JD remembers the poor days of family Duggar. The line for the bathroom, 8-9 boys stuck in a small bedroom. He could be trying to save up to be comfortable & marry a women 5 or more years young & still have a large family. The thing is I don't think we ever get a really honest interview from the Duggars. Watching the show & interviews we hear the same stuff worded maybe a bit different over and over again. The only real honest comment I think we have heard reguarding JD & courtship was Josh saying JD would not be the next boy, it would be Josiah.

My husband was in the middle of 23 in a religious family. He was the quiet one that confused people. He said he struggled a lot between 17-23 in where he fit in his faith. He was torn between his family & what the real world had shown him. Again we have no idea where JD is in his thinking process. Shouldn't we be happy we are not seeing 9 duplicates of Josh? I think JD/Joseph and Josh/Josiah are the more similar pairings but at least this is showing the younger 6 boys that they all do not have to take Josh's path. This was the case for my husband. His example of going to college, travel, delaying marriage lead some of his younger siblings to do the same & 2 of the older divorced siblings wish now they had not married at 18 & 20 and waited. I say let JD be in the background, shy, working, whatever his reason.

I'd definitely agree with you here. I'm currently working on my B.S. in speech-language pathology and I work at specialized autism center. I'm also on the spectrum myself.

I see several possibilities:

It could be that JD no longer feels comfortable participating in the horse and pony show that was his upbringing and, as an adult, decided to be less present.

As silverspoons said, JD could be struggling with his faith and doesn't want to participate. That could be for a lot of reasons.

Ma and Pa Duggar may just keep him offscreen if he is spectrum. If someone figured out that he was on the spectrum, that might shatter the veneer. But, if he was, I feel like the Duggars would capitalize on that with "look how Jesus-y we are with our child on the autism spectrum". :ew:

JD could have a minor intellectual disability that was prayed about, but never addressed. (As an aside, that's another problem with SOTDRT; how does it affect children with learning or intellectual disabilities? I could imagine it would be fine if there weren't as many children, but in a family of 19?)

His quietness may be from the fact that he was overshadowed by Josh and J'Caleb.

Whichever it is, and it may be none of the above, I hope JD can figure out what's right for him. If he's having an existential crisis or realizing that his life, up until this point, was not right for him all along, I hope he can get it sorted out.

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Feberin

I think JD has always been mostly off screen so I don't think it's something new that he's not shown often. I just don't think he's interested or interviews well. He's never seemed particularly loquacious but that doesn't necessarily translate into there being an actual issue with him.

I think any of the Duggar children could have an unknown or prayed over learning disability. We get such a limited view of their education and what we do see seems nowhere near adequate. However I think one of the younger kids is more likely since I believe all the older children all have obtained their GEDs.

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pennsatuckey
I think JD has always been mostly off screen so I don't think it's something new that he's not shown often. I just don't think he's interested or interviews well. He's never seemed particularly loquacious but that doesn't necessarily translate into there being an actual issue with him.

I think any of the Duggar children could have an unknown or prayed over learning disability. We get such a limited view of their education and what we do see seems nowhere near adequate. However I think one of the younger kids is more likely since I believe all the older children all have obtained their GEDs.

I don't really watch the show too often, but I've been following the news and trying to watch what's available on Netflix.

Just because someone has a GED doesn't mean that they can't or don't have a learning or intellectual disability. I think learning/intellectual disabilities with the younger children might be easier to overlook with so many kids in one learning environment. I mean, yeah, there are buddies and all, but the buddies wouldn't be equipped to fully teach a child with a disability.

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momof2treasures

Michelle has stated on the tlc site that Jim bob and some of the kids have dyslexia . She has also said she does seek outside help from a friend that is a speech therapist. Not sure how that would help but it's something. Dyslexia does not automatically mean low iq but naturally it adds some challenges to formal learning. I personally think homeschooling is not a good choice for most kids but for a child with certain learning disabilities it could have some advantages.

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Four is Enough

Maybe he's just SHY. Mr. Four (whom I have known and been training in sociability for 30 years) is painfully shy, despite being a board certified internal medicine physician. He does not have this shyness when in his element, his office. He communicates well with patients and over the phone. Social situations? Fuggedaboutit. People will speak to him, and when he responds, he will be looking at me. We never see JD talking about his passion, the plane.. perhaps we would see a whole other side.

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DGayle
I don't think JD is stupid. Getting one's private pilot's license requires excellent spatial skills and solid math ability.

I think he's quiet, undereducated, a good ole boy, but like all the Duggar spawn, he was never given a chance to truly learn.

That he pursued his pilot's license does indicate ambition and commitment.

I've got a horribly stupid brother-in-law who managed to get his pilot license.

https://www.faa.gov/pilots/become/student_cert/

To get a student certificate:

You are eligible if:

You are at least 16 years old. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you must be at least 14 years old.

You can read, speak, and understand English

AND

You hold at least a current third-class medical certificate. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you only have to certify that you have no medical defect that would make you unable to pilot a glider or balloon.

What's frightening is to get a commercial license to fly jumbo jets, you only need to take and pass the GROUND SCHOOL part of a course, take a 100-question test and get 70 questions right, pass a medical exam, and be at least 16 years old. Wow, FFA. This really makes me feel confident in planes.

http://www.faa.gov/training_testing/tes ... matrix.pdf

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OneFifthQuiverFull
Maybe he's just SHY. Mr. Four (whom I have known and been training in sociability for 30 years) is painfully shy, despite being a board certified internal medicine physician. He does not have this shyness when in his element, his office. He communicates well with patients and over the phone. Social situations? Fuggedaboutit. People will speak to him, and when he responds, he will be looking at me. We never see JD talking about his passion, the plane.. perhaps we would see a whole other side.

My husband is the same way. He is a successful financial advisor - a skilled salesman. I am the gregarious one who talks too much to everyone. My husband comes across as either snooty, angry or checked out. I remember one time we were riding up an elevator and there was a woman and a man from his office who were dating each other. My husband greeted the man warmly but the woman not so warmly. When they got off the elevator I asked why he didn't like her. He was upset and said "Huh? I like her fine! I just don't know her that well!" He had no idea that what he conveyed was dislike when it was just that he didn't know her well enough.

But when we get in a situation where he is the "salesman" or discussing aspects of investing - HOLD THE PHONE. He's like a different person!! And I too have had to teach him a lot about social situations (20 years for me) and he's scared to go to stuff without me, but put him in a situation where he is selling or talking about his work and you can hardly shut him up.

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