Last night, I appeared on BBC Radio Manchester, on the Dead Good Show with Simone Riley. Amongst various topics, we discussed the recent news that Katie Price is looking at placing her 16 year old son, Harvey into residential care. Katie said Harvey sometimes scares her other children and, “is a danger to himself”. She went on to say he has smashed eight iPads this year and broken windows and TVs. Read on to find out why I agree with Katie Price.
Why I Agree With Katie Price
Harvey, is partially blind, autistic and has a genetic disorder, “Prader-Willi syndrome”. I am Mum to Sam, who is 7 now, and has Autism. Sam needs 24/7 supervision. Just this morning, he flooded the kitchen while I was upstairs getting dressed. He has profound learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.
Katie Price said that, “For the first time ever, I’m thinking he might have to go residential, Monday to Friday.” As a Mum, you have a responsibility to protect ALL of your children. As heartbreaking as it is, you have to look at the bigger picture. In most cases, a special needs parent will pass away before their child does. If that child was still living at home, they’ll lose not only their parent, but their home, support and independence all in one go.
Life As A Special Needs Sibling
I grew up as the youngest of 6 kids. By the time I was 10, only me and my 13 year old sister remained at home. This sister has epilepsy, and extremely challenging behaviour amongst other things. When I was 14, I awoke to find her holding a carving knife to my throat because I had more Easter eggs than she did. This was my reality.
My Mum refused to accept that she couldn’t cope alone until our family hit crisis point. This meant my sister was put into the first place with a bed for her. At 18 years old, she was living in an old folk’s home. Except she wasn’t allowed to mix with the other residents – she was confined to her bedroom, for over a year!
Seeking Support Doesn’t Mean Failure
I think that because of my own childhood experiences, I have always been pro-active in seeking support for Sam. We get 3 overnight respite breaks a month now, and Sam enjoys the change of scenery. I already know that in 10 years time (if not before), we will be looking at residential care settings for Sam. As much as I adore every ounce of him, Sam (like every other child) needs some independence. He also needs to be settled before I become too infirm to care for him myself.
My Mum passed away suddenly 3 years ago. It was literally a case of she was there Tuesday, and gone Wednesday. Thankfully, my sister was settled in her own home, with a great support network around her. As well as her siblings, she had her carers there to help her cope with losing her mum so suddenly. I will be forever grateful to them for that. It frightens me to think what would have happened had she still been living at home.
While I agree with Katie Price on this particular subject, I’m definitely not a fan of hers. What do you think? Can you imagine having to make the decision to put your child into residential care? If you want to hear the radio discussion, it will be online here until 18th March 2019. Listen from 1 hour 39 minutes in.
Finally, if you liked this post, check out my Autism category.