Kelly Ripa “never thought” her son would go to college because he’s struggled with dyslexia and dysgraphia throughout his life, she recently revealed.
“Joaquin is trying to decide on a college right now, and he’s got lots of options,” Ripa, who shares 17-year-old Joaquin with husband Mark Consuelos, said on Wednesday’s episode of “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”
The 50-year-old talk show host explained that she and Consuelos, 49, get “emotional” and “very choked up” thinking about their son going to college.
“[Mark] said, ‘You know, I never thought he would be able to go to college.’ Because he was profoundly dyslexic and dysgraphic,” Ripa said.
Dyslexia is when a person has trouble learning to read or interpret words, letters and other symbols, but does not affect general intelligence. Dysgraphia, on the other hand, is a neurological disorder that causes difficulties with spelling and/or trouble putting thoughts on paper.
Ripa said that “through hard work, determination, [and] remediation” Joaquin was able to overcome his struggles, calling his learning disabilities a “misunderstood learning difference.”
And she explained that in the end, his dyslexia and dysgraphia were actually a blessing.
“Kids with dyslexia learn how to read the room, they pick up on social cues … their other skills become [stronger],” she said, adding that reading is now one of Joaquin’s favorite activities.
She and Consuelos also share a 23-year-old son Michael, who graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in May 2020, and a 19-year-old daughter Lola, who in her sophomore year at NYU.