Al Roker Reveals His Attitude Towards Raising a Son with Special Needs
Al Roker opened up about parenting his son who grew up with developmental delays in a recent article.
Roker, 64, who shares 17-year-old son Nick with wife Deborah Roberts, wrote about their journey in a cover story for the May issue of Guideposts magazine.
“Nick is a hard worker; he’s got a great sense of humor; he’s outgoing and a good swimmer; he’s developing a pretty good top-of-the-key basketball shot."
The television personality has only pride, love, and adoration for his son.
"Do I get frustrated with my son sometimes? You bet,'' he wrote. "But then I remember my dad, how understanding he was. And Deborah reminds me that I have to show my son not only that I love him but that I like him as well. More than that, I admire him."
According to Roker, Nick is “somewhere on the spectrum and maybe obsessive-compulsive." However, those "labels can be frustrating; they don’t begin to describe who Nick really is,'' he added.
Roker said that his child never let his developmental delays get in the way of living his life and doing what he loves.
The "Today" anchor explained that he and Roberts, who has reported for both ABC and NBC, realized Nick was different pretty quickly after he was born in 2002.
He recalled: “We knew right from the beginning that he would be up against a whole different set of challenges. He wasn’t developing as fast as he should have, not holding our fingers as tightly, not always meeting our gaze, not as quick to crawl. At three, he hardly talked and could barely walk.”
Roker said that Nick started to prosper into his very own individual after getting him the assistance he required from speech, behavioral and occupational therapists. The teen's hobbies currently include basketball, going to church, tae kwon do, and swimming.
“Nick is a hard worker; he’s got a great sense of humor; he’s outgoing and a good swimmer; he’s developing a pretty good top-of-the-key basketball shot,” the morning television legend said. “He takes chess lessons a couple times a week, and he does okay. He’s also very affectionate — like his grandfather — and full of love to share.”
Last year, Roker was overcome with emotion after Roberts walked in alongside Nick during his 40th anniversary at NBC. They surprised him on set with a birthday cake. Tears brimmed his eyes as he embraced them again and again.