BBC One has today announced an intimate and unflinching one-off documentary with Katie Price discussing the realities of raising a disabled child.
Katie Price has become a household name over the years, actively campaiging against online bullying and hate crimes targeted towards the disabled community.
The determination to end violence towards the disabled community, comes from Katie’s experience of raising her son Harvey, who lives with partial blindness, Prada-Wili syndrome, learning and behavioural difficulties, and Harvey is on the autistic spectrum.
Now, the BBC One documentary, Katie Price: Harvey and Me (currently a working title), will go behind closed doors to shine a light on Katie’s experiences of being a parent to a child with a disability.
“Being a parent of a child with complex needs, as Harvey has, presents daily challenges,” explains Katie.
“Simple day to day things that other people take for granted can take all day.”
After Harvey was born it became clear he wasn’t responding in the same way as other babies at Katie’s mum and baby group.
A few weeks after welcoming Harvey into the world, Harvey was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder Septo Optic Dysplasia.
Now, as Harvey celebrated a milestone birthday of turning 18, Katie is preparing to let the world behind closed doors to show what the realities are for disabled young adults and their parents.
Katie continues: “Now he is 18, I have to start making vital decisions that will impact Harvey’s future that are different to most other parents.
“Harvey isn’t about to go to uni, travel the world on a gap year, or take his driving test. Harvey’s never even had a beer!
“Harvey is now an adult, and this is the most important time of his life, making the vital decisions, safe guarding his future and ensuring he has the tools for life that will give him the equal rights to live his life to the fullest,” adds Katie.
As Harvey’s campaigner, protector and mother, Katie has seen first-hand the challenges that come with raising a child with a disability.
As Harvey moves from child to adult services, Katie, like millions of parents of children with additional needs, has difficult decisions to make about his future – where will he be treated when he can no longer go to Great Ormond Street?
Where he will live? What level of independence might he achieve? What are his work opportunities?
“Harvey has taken on every hurdle life has thrown at him – from birth, being told he would never see, to now drawing rainbows – he was told he would never be able to engage in everyday life, but is often the life and soul of the party,” enthuses Katie.
“Harvey touches the hearts of all those he meets – his heart knows no bounds when giving out love and affection.”
During the documentary, Katie is preparing to take cameras behind closed doors of her world with Harvey.
The commission is part of the BBC’s commitment to boosting disability representation
on and off screen throughout 2020 and beyond, Katie Price: Harvey and Me will raise vital awareness of the experience of thousands of families across the UK.
Hoping to impact and advance the conversation around disability in the UK, the documentary is sure to be a pivotal insight into caring for a loved one with a disability.
Charlotte Moore, director BBC content, adds: “Katie’s life has played out in public, but one thing she has always kept private is the day to day realities of being mum to her son Harvey.
“As he turns 18, Katie faces difficult decisions about his future and wants to help people understand the realities and challenges of bringing up a child with a disability, and to see what Harvey’s life is really like.”