Kelly Ripa Opens up About Son Joaquin's Dyslexia and Dysgraphia as 17-Year-Old Prepares for College

Kelly Ripa couldn't be prouder of her youngest son Joaquin. The 17-year-old is getting ready to [...]

Kelly Ripa couldn't be prouder of her youngest son Joaquin. The 17-year-old is getting ready to head out for college, the Live With Kelly and Ryan host shared on Wednesday's show, having worked hard to overcome his dyslexia and dysgraphia, which affect his reading and writing abilities. The two older children Ripa shares with husband Mark Consuelos, 23-year-old Michael and 19-year-old Lola, both chose New York University for their college experience, but Ripa said Joaquin hasn't made his choice yet.

"Joaquin is trying to decide on a college right now, and he's got lots of options," the mother of three said on the show. "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. It was only through "hard work, determination" and remediation that reading became "one of Joaquin's favorite things to do."

"I always say that dyslexia — for our family at least and if you read about it — can be quite a blessing," she said. "People panic in real-time because they don't understand it. It's a much often misunderstood learning difference. But kids with dyslexia learn how to read the room. They pick up on social cues and signals." And while Consuelos might have been concerned about his son's college prospects early on, Ripa said she never had any doubts. "You see in him a fire…a desire to learn," she said of her son. "That's the thing is these kids are, I would say, even more capable."

When co-host Ryan Seacrest asked if Ripa and Consuelos were worried about becoming empty nesters, she explained that she wasn't too worried. "I'm fine," Ripa said. "They keep coming back." The couple's oldest proved his mom's point just this week, showing up to shovel the sidewalk outside their New York City home in freezing cold temperatures, which she shared on Instagram. "Michael just shows up and does it. With a smile and a thumbs up," she wrote in the caption, asking as any mother would where his gloves had gotten off to. Ripa's followers saw the helpful gesture as a sign of great parenting. "What a great young man," one person commented on the post, as another added, "You and Mark have obviously done a great job at raising your children."