For the best. Katie Price detailed her “heartbreaking” decision to place her 18-year-old son, Harvey, in a home for full-time care.
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“It’s so upsetting to think I won’t see him every day but this is the best thing for Harvey and we have to think positively because I don’t want him to think I’m just getting rid of him,” the former model, 42, told The Sun on Thursday, January 14. “This is his chance to live an independent life, learn skills and socialize with people other than me. I’m trying to get him used to me not being there all the time. But he’ll call on his iPad and say, ‘Mum, I need you’, and I run to him.”
The English star gave birth to her eldest child in 2002 with former professional football player Dwight Yorke. Harvey was born with sept-optic dysplasia, a condition that left the development of his optic nerve unpredictable. The teenager is partially blind, gains weight easily from his Prader-Willis syndrome and is on the autism spectrum.
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When Harvey moves “three hours away,” Price is worried about struggling to see him while she “juggles” the rest of her children — Junior, 15, Princess, 13, Jett, 7, and Bunny, 6.
“The other kids are excited for him — they want to see what he can do. But I think they’ll find it hard when he’s not around on weekends,” the Celebrity Big Brother alum added. “I need to learn to let go but it’s tough — anyone in my position knows how hard it is. We have an incredible bond. I don’t know how Harvey will react or how he’ll feel when I can’t get to him. It’s too painful to think about.”
The singer is still hopeful about her choice, explaining, “He will live there until he’s 25 and have his own space to study and keep fit. I need to get him the help he deserves because he will die if he doesn’t exercise. I’m hoping he will make friends so he can socialize at the weekends, but if he has no plans then he can come home whenever he wants. He’s meant to start this September, but with lockdown [amid the coronavirus pandemic], I don’t know if he will.”
Price, who spent six months touring facilities, also credited her “painful” decision to her inability to restrain her son.
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“The thing is with Harvey, when you get to know him well enough you know what triggers him, so you can talk him out of it and calm him, and I’m very calm with him,” she went on to tell the outlet on Thursday. “You hear about people with autism being arrested and when they’re restrained, they go mad and get sectioned. That’s why I want to find the right college for him so if there’s ever a case where he kicks off, I’m involved.”
Yorke, 49, is not in Harvey’s life, and Price bashed the athlete on social media in July 2020 after their teen was rushed to the hospital. “Whether you want to be in your son’s life or not, you still created him and he’s still your son,” she wrote at the time. “If you know your son is in intensive care and there’s a chance he could die, as a human being with feelings you should get in contact.”
Now, Price wants Harvey to get to know Yorke’s son. She also would like to see him writing children’s books, making songs for NHS and inspiring others in his Katie Price: Harvey and Me show on BBC, which airs January 25.
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