The Truth About Kelly Ripa's Son's Learning Disabilities

Talk show host Kelly Ripa has built a career on her bubbly personality and self-deprecating humor. It's no surprise then that she's both hilarious and candid when it comes to being a mother. While Ripa first won over fans' hearts as Hayley Vaughan on the ABC daytime soap opera All My Children, she charmed more than just American audiences. Sparks flew once Mark Consuelos was cast as her love interest, and the two tied the knot in 1996, per The Oprah Magazine, going on to welcome children Michael, Lola and Joaquin.

Shortly after Michael was born, the Live with Kelly and Ryan co-host joked to WebMD that she wished the job came with a help manual. However, these days, Ripa is a seasoned mama with plenty of wisdom to pass along to fans. Her two eldest children are already making their mark on the world – Michael has begun acting after graduating virtually from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2020 and Lola is also getting an NYU education, per Elle – so it seems Ripa has definitely raised them right!

Now, the mom of three is headed toward another milestone: her youngest son Joaquin is gearing up to head off to college. It's a rite of passage made all the more major due to the fact that Joaquin struggles with learning disabilities. So, what did the youngest member of the Ripa-Consuelos clan have to overcome to pursue his academic dreams?

Kelly Ripa views Joaquin's dyslexia and dysgraphia as a 'blessing'

On Feb. 3, 2021, Kelly Ripa explained on Live with Kelly and Ryan that her son Joaquin was "trying to decide on a college" and choosing from "lots of options." The news is especially uplifting as Ripa has been candid about Joaquin's learning disabilities in the past. 

In 2017, the TV personality got emotional when giving co-host Ryan Seacrest an update on Joaquin's high school progress, even making Seacrest tear up in the process. "A lot of you that watch the show know that he [Joaquin] has dyslexia and dysgraphia [a learning disability that affects one's writing skills], so school has always been a very big challenge for us in our household," Ripa said (via Popsugar).

Despite Mark Consuelos' fears that Joaquin's struggles would prevent him from going to college altogether, Joaquin persevered "through hard work, determination, [and] remediation." For her part, Ripa never doubted college was in Joaquin's future, and even views his learning differences as a "blessing." She told Seacrest, "Kids with dyslexia learn how to read the room, they pick up on social cues ... their other skills become [stronger]."