Katie Price considers residential care for disabled son Harvey



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Media captionKatie Price says her son Harvey, who has disabilities, smashed windows, TVs and iPads

Katie Price has said she may have to move her disabled teenage son Harvey into residential care as her family finds it harder to cope.

The disability rights campaigner and mother-of-five said Harvey, who is 16, sometimes scares her other children and "is a danger to himself".

He has smashed eight iPads this year and broken windows and TVs, she said.

Speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire, Ms Price also revealed she had sought treatment for cocaine use.

She said after an "awful year" in 2018 - including her mum living with a terminal illness, splitting from her husband and being held at gunpoint in South Africa - she was "self medicating" with cocaine for around six months.

The reality TV star and former glamour model gave her TV interview on Wednesday morning alongside Harvey, who is partially blind, autistic and has the genetic disorder Prader-Willi syndrome.

"For the first time ever now I'm thinking he might have to go residential, Monday to Friday," she said.

"He's missing out on his education, he just wants to be with me all the time.

"It's so hard. I've never had respite, I do it all myself. But I'm really having to think about it. I hate it because he's my life. I've got to do what's best for him, but it won't be forever.

"When he's smashing things and the kids are a bit scared because he's big, he'll chase them and stuff, I've just got to do it for him."

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Media captionKatie Price: "I'm trying to get on with my life"

'I do everything for him'

Ms Price said she does not think carers get enough respect, with people not realising "how actually hard it is".

"Today, before we came, I had to bath him, wash him, because he can't do it himself, I had to dress him," she said. Turning to Harvey, she added: "Literally I do everything for you, don't I. You're like the king."

"He wets the bed twice a night. He needs all these meds here to survive, if he doesn't have these he will literally die."

Image caption Ms Price said Harvey takes medication six times a day and then an injection at night

The head of Contact, a charity for families of disabled children, said they receive hundreds of enquiries each year from parents whose children display challenging behaviour.

"Parents talk about being isolated and frightened and many feel they have lost control," said chief executive Amanda Batten.

"We strongly believe that getting the correct support in place early is hugely important.

"But we also recognise that the teenage years do bring new challenges and it's also vital that families get the help they need as their child grows up.

"We know that a lack of support has a negative impact on family life, with an increased likelihood of sibling and parental emotional distress, family breakdown and expensive residential placements."

The charity said it is taking part in a trial project with University College London for families with disabled children who display challenging behaviour, which aims to intervene early and give parents strategies for coping with and managing behaviour.

Are you a family dealing with similar issues? You can share your experience by emailing haveyoursay.

Ms Price's interview comes just weeks after a group of MPs backed her petition calling for new laws to crack down on social media abuse against disabled people, after online trolling of Harvey.

She said: "Most of the trolling he gets is from the football background, football fans. We looked into it. I had no idea, but most of it is actually from the football fans."

'I'm not proud of it'

Meanwhile, separately in the interview, Ms Price admitted she had checked into The Priory - a private health clinic often known for its celebrity patients - after she turned to taking cocaine weekly for around six months.

"I just couldn't take it anymore. I had no-one to talk to because I couldn't trust anyone. So I went to The Priory, I was self-medicating on a drug, and I'm not proud of it. It was cocaine.

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Media captionThe ups and downs of Katie Price's life

"It was an escapism for me. I went to the doctors, I knew it wasn't right, I've never been up that track before, never done the drugs and stuff.

"It was the hardest thing ever to sit there and say 'look, I'm at breaking point. I need help'."

She said: "Am I ashamed I did it? It's not good but I couldn't help it, I was ill really."

Follow the Victoria Derbyshire programme on Facebook and Twitter - and see more of our stories here.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47146778

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