About Us

Extra Ed is a practice of experienced speech pathologists committed to improving educational outcomes for students with speech, language and literacy difficulties. We strive to provide an ethical and honest, high quality service to individual students, families and schools.  We use a range of research based direct instruction methods that have been proven to most effectively enhance learning outcomes for students.

All Extra Ed speech pathologists have additional literacy training. They are also registered with Speech Pathology Australia and are Certified Practicing Speech Pathologists by participating in Speech Pathology Australia’s voluntary Professional Self Regulation program. All speech pathologists have Medicare provider numbers.

Extra Ed was originally established by a Melbourne speech pathologist well known and respected for her work with students with learning difficulties; Mandy Brent. In addition to serving as the President of SPELD for several years, she co-authored two highly regarded and popular books which focus on the most effective ways to successfully support and teach students with language learning and literacy difficulties: see our Resources page for details. Mandy has now retired from the profession but the practice continues to have the same basic philosophies and objectives it has striven for since its inception.

Extra Ed speech pathologists are skilled in working with students experiencing difficulties in the following areas:

  • Speaking – speech & oral language expression.
  • Listening – spoken language comprehension.
  • Reading –  decoding, fluency & comprehension.
  • Writing – spelling, vocabulary, and sentence, paragraph, & essay structure.
  • Pragmatic communication skills – the functional, conversational & social rules that govern our use of language.

Why should my child see an Extra Ed speech pathologist if they have reading, spelling or writing problems?

Language based skills are critical to a student’s success in all curriculum areas; from Prep through to Year 12. Speech Pathologists have more traditionally worked with speech and oral (spoken) language comprehension and expression. However, written language (reading, spelling and writing) becomes an increasingly critical form of communication as a student progresses through school. There is now overwhelming research supporting the notion that student’s difficulties with reading, spelling, and writing are most frequently caused by problems with the language based skills that underpin them.

For example, dyslexia is now well understood to be a predictable cluster of signs & symptoms, and whilst there are a number of key skills and abilities that contribute to any student’s success in developing age appropriate literacy skills, the fundamental cause of dyslexia is now understood to be a problem with phonological processing. This is the ability to perceive and process sounds in words (and the letters that represent them), accurately and efficiently to be able to read and spell proficiently. Only when a student can reliably perceive that a spoken word is comprised of a series of individual sounds, can they can learn how these sounds are ‘mapped onto’ letters, and letter combinations, in written words.  Without this language based skill, students are unable to “crack” the alphabetic code of English. Without assistance, some students will be unable to develop these skills and hence  will be unable to keep up with the progress of their peers and become successful readers & spellers. Extra Ed speech pathologists, trained and experienced in this area, are well equipped to assist students to develop the necessary phonological processing skills to crack the code, and make the required connections with letters and letter combinations in order to become more proficient readers & spellers of English.

Similarly, core academic skills such as reading comprehension and writing are directly related to a student’s spoken language ability. Reading and writing are really just different forms of the same language; in this case English. Students who are weak in spoken English language skills in relation to their peers, will have difficulty developing reading comprehension and writing skills at age appropriate levels  without structured and targeted assistance to do so. Once again, Extra Ed speech pathologists, with their detailed understanding of spoken language and its relationship to reading comprehension and writing, are well equipped to assist such students at any stage of their schooling.