The 42-year-old reality star has revealed she’s made the “heartbreaking” decision to send her 18-year-old son who suffers with a number of health conditions including blindness, ADHA and Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder which affects his development to a residential college, which she hopes will be able to teach him how to have a more independent life and learn new skills.
She told The Sun: “It’s so upsetting to think I won’t see him every day but this is the best thing for Harvey and we have to think positively because I don’t want him to think I’m just getting rid of him.
“This is his chance to live an independent life, learn skills and socialise with people other than me.
Katie has spent six months visiting colleges for children with autism and learning disabilities in order to find the best place for Harvey, and is hoping he’ll be able to start at their top choice later this year.
And the ‘My Crazy Life’ star who has Harvey with Dwight Yorke, and is also mother to Junior, 15, and Princess, 13, whom she has with her ex-husband Peter Andre, and Jett, seven, and Bunny, six, whose father is her former spouse Kieran Hayler – says she’s now trying to make sure her son is “used” to her not being around all the time so that he’s ready for his big move.
She added: “I’m trying to get him used to me not being there all the time. But he’ll call on his iPad and say, ‘Mum, I need you’, and I run to him.
“When he’s three hours away it will break my heart because I won’t be able to get there as I’ve got to juggle him with my other kids.
“When he goes to college he will learn to be an adult. He says now, ‘Mummy, I’m not a boy, I’m a man.’
“The other kids are excited for him – they want to see what he can do. But I think they’ll find it hard when he’s not around on weekends.”
But Katie is finding it hard to “let go”, as she has an “incredible bond” with her eldest son.
She said: “I need to learn to let go but it’s tough – anyone in my position knows how hard it is. We have an incredible bond. I don’t know how Harvey will react or how he’ll feel when I can’t get to him. It’s too painful to think about.”
Harvey previously went to a residential school for five days a week, but had to move back home in March last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The teenager is supposed to start at his residential college in September, but Katie isn’t sure if he will amid the ongoing global health crisis.
She said: “He’s meant to start this September but with lockdown I don’t know if he will.
“He will live there until he’s 25 and have his own space to study and keep fit. I need to get him the help he deserves because he will die if he doesn’t exercise.
“I need to get his weight down. We haven’t started training together yet as his breathing has got worse. It’s so bad. But at college he’ll be able to go swimming and work out with trained specialists.
“I’m hoping he will make friends so he can socialise at the weekends, but if he has no plans then he can come home whenever he wants.”