A new documentary will follow Katie Price’s disabled son Harvey as he settles in at a residential college.
The BBC film, What Harvey Did Next captures the ups and downs of the TV presenter letting go of her child as he continues his new life living away from home.
Harvey, who was born with vision loss, ADHD and Prader-Willi syndrome, starred in a previous documentary, Harvey and Me, where Katie had the challenge finding him a college suitable for his disabilities.
Now placed at specialist college, National Star, this follow-up documentary shows the bond Harvey still has with his mum, although there are some moments of friction including a scene when he slams the door of his new room.
Over the next three years National Star will be Harvey’s new home where he will hopefully learn life lessons, fend for himself and form new friendships.
In the documentary Katie realises her son needs time to adapt to his new surroundings.
“It’s like when you buy a house: you can tell whether it’s right for you or not, and National Star just felt right,” Price says.
“It was so calm, there was no chaos. Harvey can become a recluse and I really want him to get out of his own bubble. I keep telling his teachers to get him out of his room. It’s taking time for him to settle in – there’s not been much change in him yet – but it’s a slow process. He’s not going to be able to look after himself all of a sudden.”
Katie makes a three-hour journey to visit Harvey every week.
“Some people are quite surprised by how often I visit him, but why wouldn’t I go every weekend? He’s my son,” she told inews.
“I could never just leave him somewhere and never see him.”
“I am trying to give him space. I’ve lived and breathed him since the day he was born, it’s always been me and Harv – no one can ever take that bond away from us.
“None of my relationships have ever interfered with him. When you have to share kids with an ex-partner [Dwight Yorke] is where problems can begin – sometimes I think it’s easier to have done it alone.”
Like most mums Katie is aware she protects her son too much sometimes sheltering him from life realities.
In the documentary she admits: “I have to mollycoddle him.
“He has no idea about bills, he has no clue that he could get in a car and drive it, he doesn’t know what’s out there unless I bring it to him. Other kids want to go to the cinema or go out with their mates, but I’ve had to instigate everything he does. But now I’ve got to let him live. He’s an adult now.”
Filming of the documentary had to be paused when Katie was charged with drinking and driving after crashing into another car without insurance last September.
After the incident and a 16-week suspended prison term she started attending a mental health facility which she still attends today.
“My consultant said he’s never known a patient who’s gone through so many traumas and just dealt with it themselves,” she told inews.
“I’m changing everything – the way I live, the way I express myself, the people I have in my life. In the past I’ve lashed out because that’s been my way of dealing with things. I’m not ashamed of it, but it’s never too late to change. I’m on a big learning curve.”
Harvey will stay at National Star until he is 25, although at this stage it is difficult to predict how independent he will become.
Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next airs on Monday 7 March at 9pm on BBC One and available afterwards on BBC iPlayer.
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