Tuesday, 13 Apr 2021

Kelly Ripa Talks About Son Joaquin's Dyslexia and Dysgraphia as Her Youngest Decides on a College

Kelly Ripa's youngest will soon be headed for college — and the television personality is opening up about what her son has overcome to get there.

Speaking on Live with Kelly and Ryan on Wednesday, Ripa, 50, explained that Joaquin, 17, has dyslexia and dysgraphia, the latter affects a person's writing abilities.

"Joaquin is trying to decide on a college right now, and he's got lots of options," Ripa said on the show.

Ripa shares Joaquin and her two older kids with with husband Mark Consuelos. Michael, 23, graduated virtually from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts last spring, and Lola, 19, is in her sophomore year at NYU.

"Mark and I were FaceTiming the other night … Mark got very emotional, and very choked up, because he said, 'You know, I never thought he would be able to go to college.' Because he was profoundly dyslexic and dysgraphic," Ripa said.

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The actress added that "through hard work, determination, [and] remediation," Joaquin was able to overcome the "misunderstood learning difference," and said that for their family, dyslexia and dysgraphic has been a "blessing."

"But, kids with dyslexia learn how to read the room, they pick up on social cues … their other skills become [stronger]," she said.

Last summer, Consuelos, 49, told PEOPLE that Joaquin had been spending time in quarantine studying for the ACT and SAT exams and working on college applications. Ripa added at the time that their youngest "sparks all the debates in the house about anything — political, social, environmental, poetry."

While Ripa said Wednesday that she never doubted Joaquin would be able to go to college, she's not planning on being an empty nester even when he does move out of the house.

"They keep coming back," she joked about her kids.

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