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Katie Price on agonising decision to put Harvey in residential school and exam triumph


In Harvey and Me by Katie Price the mum-of-five talks about the realities of caring for her eldest child and her decision to put him in a residential school

Katie Price vowed Harvey would always live with her but at times with her son’s complex needs it became too much too bear.

In an exclusive extract from Harvey and Me, mum-of-five Katie, 41, details the intricacies of coping with Harvey, who suffers Prader-Willi syndrome, septo-optic dysplasia and autism, as well as the agonising decision to send him to a care home.

She writes: There was one day in particular where he was uncontrollably kicking off and I just couldn’t calm him down. I ended up having to cancel all my work that day because I had to stay home with him. When it got really bad, he would miss school for about two weeks at a time, so I was worried about it having a negative impact on his learning. I’ve looked after Harvey all his life, but I’ve had crisis points where it’s all become too much for me to handle on my own.








Harvey loves to drawn and paint
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Image:

Mirror Books)



When you have disabilities, you have a social assessment team around you. There have been times I’ve had to call them and tell them I’m finding it hard to cope. This day was one of those times. I phoned the doctors at Maudsley Hospital and Great Ormond Street and explained how Harvey was refusing to get in the car and go to school. I ended up saying, ‘Enough is enough. I can’t do this. It’s a danger for him and a danger for everyone aroundhim.’ They advised me that it could be an option to consider putting Harvey into residential care at the school Monday to Friday, which would mean he wouldn’t have to travel because he would already be there

.I’d always said that Harvey would stay at home with me for the rest of his life. I was totally against the idea. It took me a long time to be convinced that actually, it could be a good thing. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have done it. I guess I was a bit selfish in a way and just wanted him with me. But I had to do what was best for Harvey and in 2019, he started going to residential. I couldn’t do it at home any more for seven days a week. He always enjoyed school when he was there, it was just the anxiety of going. Mondays were his least favourite days because he’d just finished a weekend at home with me and it took him a bit of time to get into the routine again. I’m sure many people feel that way about Monday.








Katie and Harvey when he was a baby
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Image:

Mirror Books)










And now aged 18
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Image:

Katie Price/Instagram)



People might be quite surprised that they actually do proper lessons at school. They do English, maths, cooking, all the usual subjects that you’d expect. His English is really good. He likes to write a lot of stories and as he writes, he spells out the words. Sometimes he can find it difficult to communicate verbally, but he communicates really well by the way he writes. But there’s no doubt about it, his favourite subjects are definitely art and music. I think some people just assume that if you have complex needs like Harvey, you don’t have any type of education and that you just go to school and don’t do much. But he is more than capable of learning – he’s sat exams and passed them all, and I’ve kept all of his certificates.They’re all practical exams, rather than theory.

Katie Price: Harvey & Me, published by Mirror Books, is on sale October 26. Get £5 off (RRP £20) with offer code FA9 from mirrorbooks.co.uk.





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