Exploring the transition to college in Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next

Tonight (7 March) a new BBC programme will follow Harvey Price as he makes the transition to college, detailing the challenges, triumphs and the idea of giving up some control as the parent of a disabled child. 

Enable Magazine interviews Katie Price as she talks about her son Harvey Price. The UK's leading disability magazine.

Following on from Katie Price: Harvey and Me, a new programme will detail Harvey Prices’ transition from home to college, following him and Katie as they navigate viewing colleges and the move itself.

Process

Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next will air tonight (7 March) on BBC One at 9pm and show Harvey’s transition during his first term at National Star, a specialist college. Giving an intimate insight into Katie and Harvey’s bond and the process of selecting a specialist college, the programme also explores the transition for Katie. 

Enable sat down with Katie and Harvey Price to learn more about the programme and why Katie feels it was an important process to highlight to the public and how Harvey is getting on at college so far. 

“After the first show and the response it had I definitely wanted to do a second and so did Harvey,” explains Katie. “This really shows how challenging it can be to find a college that is the right fit for your child and what it’s like for both Harvey and me.” 

Harvey made the transition to college at 19-years-old, but it wasn’t the same as some other teenagers when they leave home. Katie and Harvey visited multiple specialist colleges to see where Harvey could thrive and be happy. 

“I think a lot of people won’t know what to expect because I didn’t, no one really tells you about this process and it’s not something you see, but there are parents out there going through it right now,” highlights Katie. “I wanted to show it more in depth and to show the challenges of it.

“I really had to follow my gut when I was picking the college and honestly I knew it was the right move because I know Harvey better than anyone and can tell where he’s going to be comfortable.”

The detailed insight into this process will give the general public a greater understand of what parents of a disabled child often experience, but it could also serve as a helpful guide for families about to embark on it themselves. 

Transition

After choosing a college, Harvey embarks on his first term at National Star, a specialist college for young people with complex medical needs and disabilities. The charity provides nursing and medical care with integrated learning and therapies, helping young people to build independence as they live away from home full-time. 

“I’m so proud of Harvey, he’s come such a long way and it’s crazy to think he’s now off to college,” admits Katie. “It’s hard because it’s always just been me and him, that’s all he’s known, but he’s been doing really well and the staff at National Star have been brilliant with him.”

“I go and visit him on the weekends as much as I can but the rest of the week we video call all of the time so that he can tell me about his day, show me things or so I can help calm him,” adds Katie. “It’s really hard but it’s also nice that when I see him now we just get to do fun things that he enjoys or just spend time together instead of doing everything.

“As a parent it’s really hard because he’s relied on me for everything his whole life and now I just go and visit, but I think this will be good to show other parents the process.”

When Harvey first arrives at National Star he struggles without Katie, but with the help of staff and the chance to video call his mum, he begins to settle in and starts to learn new skills. 

“Right now, it’s really hard to think too far into the future, Harvey is still adjusting to college so I’m just excited to see him progress there because these steps are big ones for him,” offers Katie. “We’re working on getting him to go to more classes and hopefully soon he can start going on trips out of the college and into town.

“Really I just want him to become more independent and he already is, I’m so proud of him.” 

Connection

Since moving away from home Harvey has made new friends at college and in What Harvey Did Next, viewers get the chance to see Harvey interact with Lucy who has already been at National Star for over a year. This connection gave Katie the chance to talk to other parents and put her mind at ease. 

“Getting to talk to Lucy’s parents was so helpful, I felt so reassured after meeting them,” enthuses Katie. “Lucy is really different to Harvey but as a parent it can be really isolating so it was good to meet someone who is further along in this process and hear about how successful it’s been for them.”

As Harvey continues to progress and gain independence, Katie is excited to see what he achieves next and would love to document the future in a similar show. 

“I would love to do another show in the future, this is just another step in Harvey’s journey and it’s important for people to see what the process is like so I would definitely be open to that and I think Harvey would be, too,” reveals Katie. 

Harvey has also been sharing how he feels about his time at college so far. 

How did it feel moving out of your family home and going off to college?

I felt sad as I missed Mummy.

How are you finding college so far? 

Really fantastic.

What sessions do you have at college and what are your Favourite activities?

Swimming and rebound.*

(*Rebound therapy is a specific type of trampoline therapy used to facilitate movement, promote balance, promote an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation, promote sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance, and to improve communication skills.)

Have you learnt any independent skills whilst living in your own flat? 

Cleaning and hanging out washing.

What has it been like to make new friends at college like Lucy?

Lucy is my friend. She is lovely. 

What do you like to do when mum comes to visit?

Cooking and lots of mummy cuddles. 

Watch Katie Price: What Harvey Did Next tonight at 9pm on BBC One or on iPlayer. 

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