According to a story from metro.co.uk, celebrity Katie Price, an English television personality, author, singer, and designer is reportedly considering part time residential care for her son Harvey. Harvey has a number of health problems, such as partial blindness, autism, and Prader-Willi syndrome. While residential care is not normally necessary for someone with Prader-Willi syndrome, Harvey’s specific circumstances are a bit more complicated.
About Prader-Willi Syndrome
Prader-Willi syndrome is a genetic disorder which is most characterized by childhood obesity that results from an abnormal, insatiable appetite. This obesity often continues into adulthood. In most cases, the syndrome is caused by the deletion of a certain section of chromosome 15. In about a quarter of cases, the patient receives two copies of chromosome 15 from the mother but gets none from the father. This syndrome is not considered heritable, as the genetic changes occur during gestation. Symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome include slow development, poor feeding, muscle weakness, obesity, over-eating, abnormal flexibility, scoliosis, sleeping excessively, speech delays, intellectual disability, poor muscle tone, delayed puberty, and infertility. Excessive eating also leads to elevated risk of diabetes. Management may include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, limiting access to food, and injections of growth hormone (in child patients only). To learn more about Prader-Willi syndrome, click here.
Harvey has unfortunately had some serious behavioral problems that has been a cause of concern for Katie and the rest of her family. He is 16 years old, is physically large, and often has angry fits that result in the destruction of electronics and other items around the house. Katie claims these fits are the result of his desire to be around her no matter what. Unsurprisingly, these incidents are pretty disruptive to the rest of the family (Katie has four other kids as well).
Harvey has also become a subject of ridicule from online trolls which has further exacerbated his mood instability. The trolling has led Katie to start an petition that would make online harassment a criminal offense in the UK. The petition has around 200,000 signatures so far.