Karen Burrington - Speech Therapist


 Welcome to Speech!

      Speech and Language Therapy

    I am the speech/language pathologist for Andover Elementary School. I administer speech/language evaluations and provide speech and language therapy services for students from prekindergarten through grade 6. When a student is determined to qualify for services to improve communication skills the areas targeted may include: receptive language, expressive language, pragmatic language, articulation/phonology, voice and speech fluency. Therapy services may be conducted individually, in small groups or within the regular education classroom setting. Therapeutic intervention may focus on remediating the following skills:



Receptive Language  

  • Receptive Language is the ability to understand and comprehend spoken language.  
  • Following directionsUnderstanding grammar
  • Understanding vocabulary/concepts
  • Understanding relationships between words
  • Identifying objects and pictures
  • Understanding questions
  • Understanding storiesReading comprehension
  • Understanding figurative language   

Expressive Language  

  • Expressive language is using words/signs/gestures/symbols to communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings:
  • Grammar (syntax and morphology)Sentence Structures/Length of utterances
  • Vocabulary Telling stories/anecdotes/giving information in sequential order
  • Inferencing Predicting Asking/Answering questions          

Pragmatic Language  

Pragmatic Language is the ability to use language functionally within context and natural settings:   Greetings/closings, requesting, commenting, complaining, rejecting, informing, imagining, describing, protesting, answering/asking, labeling conversing, turn taking, maintaining topics.          


Voice refers to quality, pitch and loudness:  




Abnormal pitch

Hyper or Hypo nasality

Abnormal volume  

Voice therapy cannot be initiated until student has been seen by an ENT.          


Stuttering/Dysfluency involves frequent and significant problems with normal fluency and flow of speech, characteristics include:

  • repetitions
  • prolongations
  • additions
  • blocking
  • atypical rate of speech
  • secondary behaviors           


Articulation is the production of speech sounds.

Phonology is the pattern of speech sounds and the rules that govern the sound combinations.  

Speech sound disorders involves difficulty producing speech sounds correctly (substitution, omissions, distortions, additions) or producing patterns of speech sound errors.

Intelligibility of spontaneous speech, reading and spelling can be severely impacted when a speech sound disorder or phonological disorder exists. (References: ASHA, Therapywork, Linguisystems Communication Milestone Manual)    

Please contact me via phone or email with any questions or concerns that you may have.   Phone: 860-742-7339 Email: burringtonk@andoverelementary.org    



Facilitating Development of Speech/Language Skills  

  • Model correct sounds in words  
  • Teach rhyming and present real words and nonsense words to improve auditory word discrimination  
  • Use auditory bombardment by reading word lists containing target sounds or use stories with specific target sounds embedded  
  • Provide verbal feedback/description of the lips, tongue, teeth, etc for producing the sound  
  • Remind child to use a slow rate of speech and model a slower rate  
  • Remind child to use inside/outside voice  
  • Have child repeat the word that is not clearly understood  
  • Provide sentence starters to elicit responses  
  • Provided wait time, at least 10-15 seconds for a response, if needed  
  • Use transition words (first, then, next, etc) to facilitate understanding of directions and increase vocabulary    
  • Provided peer models and/or role play common interactions and the language that is used (when interrupting, apologizing, taking turns, etc.