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An ASD journey in hairdressing

Level 3 Hairdressing apprentice Renee Turner, opens up about her experience living with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and how multi-tasking and time management is something she’s struggled with working in the salon.  

Recently receiving support, Renee shares the strategies that have empowered her to overcome these challenges, highlighting how they’ve not only improved her skills but also given her the confidence to talk to others about her mental health.  

Navigating time management with ASD

Diagnosed with ASD at the age of 9, I have consistently faced challenges with timings and time management. Being a hairdresser demands organisation, from scheduling appointments to transitioning between clients, while building and maintaining a clientele base.

This year I’ve found it difficult to juggle everything. I felt I couldn’t balance being on the floor, starting my own column and managing my time. All while trying to complete my qualification – it was too much.  

My trainer coach Liz however has been my rock. I went to her straight away and she completely understood. She has been massively flexible and helped me get back on track. She was the one who introduced me to Gemma.  

Accessing support has given me confidence

I’m not usually the type of person who likes to talk about my feelings. But after speaking to the wellbeing and safeguarding officer Gemma, she has given me the confidence to go and speak to people.  

Gemma checks in with me regularly and has given me so much support. To anyone who may be struggling, I couldn’t recommend her enough. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, everyone goes through hard times. If you don’t, you don’t learn and you can’t grow.  

I feel a lot better for speaking to someone and I’m so grateful for the people around me. For me it’s remembering to keep going no matter what. It’s like the saying ‘no rain, no flowers’.

Finding what works for me

I wanted to do hairdressing because I wanted to make people feel better about themselves. I’ve always had a thing about hair, I’ve always been a girly girl.  

Looking at where I started and how all I wanted to do was a blow dry and now I’m at the point where I can do creative colours is amazing.  

I am grateful for what I’ve achieved and all the beautiful people in my life. My manager has been amazing and has even booked in extra time to help me organise my day. Multi-tasking and time management is something I really struggle with – I get easily distracted but I try and do my best.

I have a diary for scheduling in appointments and always find that writing notes helps me keep on top of things. Sometimes I’ll add comments on how the client felt about their hair and ideas for their next appointment. I set a reminder to check in with clients in-between their appointments to make sure they are happy.

Choosing to be happy

As a Christian, I find my faith really helps me. I try to have the best relationship with God and pray a lot. Gratitude to me is important.

I am grateful for all the support I’ve received and have learnt so much along the way. I’ve learnt that pain is temporary and one day you can wake up and decide that you don’t have to be sad, you can choose to be happy.  

We’d like to wish Renee all the best in her qualification and thank her for being so open about her hairdressing journey with ASD – inspiring others to get help and support.  

If you’re struggling and unsure on how you can access support, contact our wellbeing and safeguarding officer – Gemma Hartnoll-Smith –

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