Neurodiversity Training and Consulting
Calling all schools, educators and providers, do you have the neurodiversity know-how to harness ND students' strengths and foster their social-emotional growth? Expert help is on the way!
Acting and Improv for ND Teens and Young Adults
Are you a teen or young adult who is interested in comedy, theater, voice acting, or podcasting? Let's get creative!
Drama-Based Social Emotional Learning Labs
Imagine a cutting-edge program that draws upon the power of drama to promote connection, curiosity and confidence in neurodivergent youth while celebrating their unique strengths. Enter AND Action
Welcome to AND Action! I'm Liz McDonough, and for the last 17 years, I have helped hundreds of neurodivergent children, teens and young adults find their voices through drama, comedy improv, music and theatre. As a drama therapist and MFT, working in schools, I have collaborated with educators to make learning joyful, meaningful and accessible to all neurotypes by focusing on social-emotional growth. The beauty of having a differently wired brain is that you have something unique to offer and something extraordinary to express. My own neuro-differences have informed my creativity as a performer and clinician. I founded AND Action! because the same creativity that fuels the arts can bring a history lesson to life, allow a child to express their feelings through song, and enable a teen to make meaning of their world through story-telling. Sharing this drama-based cutting-edge approach with schools, organizations, and the wider community sets the stage for neurodivergent people to shine in performance, school and everyday life.LEARN MORE
See What Others are Saying
Dr. Pamela Wolfberg, Professor of Special Education SFSU
Liz’s session on drama with neurodivergent students was without a doubt the highlight of our semester – but more than that, I think it will ultimately prove to be the most memorable and influential class session of our students’ entire program! I have never seen the students so engaged. I felt blinded with so many “light bulbs” blinking around the room as they made connections to their own teaching and therapeutic practice. Liz is incredibly gifted and there are masses of educators, therapists, families and other care providers who will benefit by learning her craft.
Mom of a 14-year-old student
Liz is magic! Her ability to meet our daughter where she is and help build her confidence through drama, art, and music is something I haven't seen before, but boy did we need it in our lives. And if something isn't working for our daughter, Liz pivots and re-strategizes, and works tirelessly (although it seems almost effortless) to shine a spotlight on our daughter and her unique talents and strengths! Our daughter lights up every time she sees Liz!
Jane Kelley, Special Education Teacher
If I could work alongside one person for the rest of my teaching career it would be Liz McDonough. She is able to truly see our neurodivergent students and understand them on a deeper level. Around her, typically guarded students transform. Liz is a master at engaging students. She creates lessons that incorporate humor, games, student interests, student strengths, imagination, playfulness, costumes and of course all the puppets. Within this environment, students feel safe, valued, understood and part of a team. They are able to open up and “do the work” without seeing it as work. I have often found myself saying, “I wish I could borrow Liz’s brain for a while.”
Jane Kelley, Special Education Teacher
Liz can recognize talent in every child. She is then able to shine a light on that talent allowing the rest of the school (students and teachers alike) to see all the gifts and strengths that student possesses. Through this, I have seen her build confidence and a sense of leadership in our students. Liz once created a school play – from scratch– that tied in EVERY single one of our students’ diverse special interest areas. This play was truly a masterpiece because the students loved it. They bought in and were willing to step outside their comfort zones, work together and stand in front of a crowd, displaying their strengths with a sense of pride. As you can imagine there was not a dry eye in the school.
Mother of a 15-year-old student
Working with Liz gave my son a platform to gain confidence in communicating and participating in class, helping him to excel in his academics as well as the school play. This has opened social doors and sparked wonderful friendships. I am forever grateful!
Kelly Checo, M.Ed., Education Specialist
Liz is one of the most authentic and creative professionals I have worked with in all my years in the field. She is an admired colleague, whose sensitive and intuitive qualities are unmatched in her work with neurodivergent students. Staff, educators, and administrators benefit from the extensive experience and expertise shared by Liz through her professional development training. Via story-telling, thought-provoking insights and playful humor, one walks away with tangible examples and skills, a solid knowledge base to grow from, and a renewed excitement and appreciation for the field. Lucky are those who get to witness, and learn from her wisdom.
Father of an 18-year-old student
Liz has worked with our son, for many years both academically and through her wonderful extracurricular programs. Our son has Speech Apraxia which affects his ability to verbally speak despite his understanding of the spoken and written word. The personal care, attention, sense of collaboration, teamwork and, yes, fun that Liz puts into her teachings and programs really encouraged our son to exercise and improve upon his speech. They have instilled more confidence, positivity and inspiration in his self-expression and personal interests going forward. Thank you, Liz!
Renee Trimarco, Speech Pathologist
Learning from Liz in a workshop is reflective of her work with students - playful, experiential and immediately applicable. She has cultivated her approach from a depth of knowledge, experience, and passion that are palpable in her teaching. As a speech pathologist, I love using her techniques with my clients because they create positive, engaging group experiences that are both fun and supportive of social growth!
Jenna Howard, MFT
A true revolutionary in this field, Liz has a unique gift in that she brings together intellectual prowess, clever wit and her love for all things theatrical skillfully filtered through the lens of a gifted drama therapist. Watching Liz’s creativity at work and bearing witness what she gets out of her students is extraordinary.
Through her own journey she has gained a wealth of knowledge and has supervised and mentored many therapists in supporting neurodivergent students in accessing their true potential and finding their resilience. I know I wouldn’t be the therapist I am today without her.
Parent of a Teen
Liz is a passionate advocate of the neurodiversity movement and by using humour, comedy and theatre, she gets autistic students to learn more about standing up for themselves and to be proud of their identities.