Therapist Highlight: Lynn Gallandt, M.S. CCC-SLP

Lynn Gallandt, MS CCC-SLP

I have a long time friend who has posed the question to my family and me over the years : “So what do you want to do when you grow up?” While we laugh about this, it’s also his way of encouraging us to reach for the next step in life.

About 5 years ago, after 20+ years as an educator for elementary-aged bilingual students, students with special needs, university supervisor for student teachers and teaching adults learning English as a second language, I finally had the answer to his question: I want to serve a community of adults who have sustained a brain injury.

My involvement with B.R.A.I.N. began in August, 2012 at the 2nd annual picnic. I learned about the organization through Angela and Mindi (former volunteer), whom I had met earlier that month. Their enthusiasm for this organization was palpable – I knew I had to visit this new place. My husband, Bob, joined me at the picnic, and like most people who come to B.R.A.I.N. for the first time, I was somewhat nervous about the unknown. My anxiety quickly evaporated as we were welcomed by Sue and many survivors who openly shared their stories.

At this time, B.R.A.I.N. was experiencing a need for volunteers and I was looking for an opportunity to grow personally and professionally. We found each other at the right time!

I started my work as a volunteer making phone calls to survivors and assisting with FBI. After a few weeks, I saw a ‘wish list ‘ of new programs Sue and Joan wanted to start at B.R.A.I.N. I offered to take one on and several months later, we had the inaugural B.R.A.I.N. Angels, a program for our caregivers. My own experiences with caregiving for my mother and other family members provided a glimpse into the lives of our families here at B.R.A.I.N.

My active volunteering was put on hold for two years while I attended graduate school to become a Speech Language Pathologist at Chapman University. Following the completion of school in July 2015, I immediately returned to B.R.A.I.N. as a Speech Pathologist to replace Libby who was moving out of state. Again, the timing was divine intervention!

I am grateful to be part of B.R.A.I.N. Professionally, I have had the opportunity to put my program ideas into place for our survivors and caregivers such as the the B.R.A.I.N. Angels, Stroke group, Let’s Talk, and the B.R.A.I.N. Choir. Personally, I believe I learn more from our survivors about life than perhaps I offer them. They teach me, daily, what it looks like to overcome challenges, face fear, manage anxiety, refuse stagnation, and embrace joy in living.

I look forward to this next year of growing and learning together!