This Month’s Spotlight Honors Brandon Crowell!

Brandon was born and raised in the Dallas area. In fact most of his extended family still lives in the area, which makes holidays a spectacle. Some of his earliest memories include gathering with 50+ relatives for Christmas lunch, where many years they even had to rent out a facility big enough to hold everyone!

Brandon is happily married, and he enjoys golf, rock climbing, yoga, and rollerblading. He strongly believes that exercise should be fun, and when the weather is nice can be found skating around a nearby trail or scaling a wall at a nearby gym. Brandon also enjoys film, podcasts, and the Dallas Cowboys. Decembers are especially fun when the Cowboys are in the playoff hunt (hopefully) and most Oscar contenders get released!

Brandon has struggled with disfluency since childhood, and growing up there were good and bad seasons where his confidence would ebb and flow. After graduate school, as he encountered high-stakes speaking situations with more regularity, anxiety became pervasive and he discovered that the ‘bag of tricks’ he had long used to mask stuttering became ineffective. It was at that moment Brandon set out on a journey: he read several books on stuttering with topics like speech mechanics, techniques, memoirs, and one anatomy/physiology book so dry it could float. All of this was helpful but none of them seemed to make a lasting difference. All that all changed in 2017.

That year, Brandon found the Dallas NSA chapter, and with it, he found a safe and accepting place to come together, learn from one another’s experiences, and pull toward a common goal. Brandon also met with an expert speech pathologist who helped uncover and uproot the emotional and cognitive sides of stuttering, and with the combo of Dallas NSA and speech therapy (plus lots of journaling and reflection) Brandon has learned to coexist with this ‘monster’ he was previously too afraid to let anyone see. Brandon’s mantra now is a consistent confrontation of fear, organic disclosure, and unveiled authenticity. “It has been a transformative journey of authenticity and one that I am thankful to have gone through,” he says.