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The Edinburghs

Countess of Wessex to open school for autistic children

On Thursday, the Countess of Wessex will officially open LVS Oxford in Begbroke. Opened in September 2014, this school serves and meets the needs of 48 children on the autism spectrum.

The Countess has been Royal Patron of the National Autistic Society, (NAS), since August, 2003 when she took over the position from the Princess Royal.

NAS is the a leading UK charity for autistic people (including those with Asperger syndrome ) and their families. As stated on their website: “We provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people on the autism spectrum.”

The Countess will host an official launch of the school and tour its grounds. Head of centre Louisa Allison-Bergin said: “We are very excited and honoured that LVS Oxford will be opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex.”

“Our skilled and experienced staff are having a hugely positive effect on learners, developing their life skills to help them become independent, boosting their academic progress to help them move on to destinations beyond the school and helping build their confidence and communication skills. On May 19 they will have the chance to show the Countess how well they are doing and what learners with autism can achieve with a positive, unique education.”

The NAS originated on January 23, 1962 in North London as the Autistic Children’s Aid Society. It was formed by parents with autistic children. With the assistance of a member from the charity Scope, the current organisational name was adopted in 1975, when it began serving all those on the autism spectrum located throughout the UK.

When LVS first opened its doors, it only assisted 16 students from ages 11 to 19-years-old. The number of students has grown significantly; the school now has pupils from 11 local communities. Last year, a student council was formed along with a Head Boy and Head Girl who will meet Her Royal Highness during her visit.