Saturday, March 6, 2021

Long Island Mom of Three Autistic Boys Gifts Her Pandemic Book to Prevent Isolation and Loneliness in Phase Two of COVID-19

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Mother of three autistic boys pens #1 Amazon Best Seller during the pandemic lockdown, candidly documents her time with them, achieves sobriety again, and now gifts her books to other autism moms who may feel lonely and isolated during the pandemic.

Mothers report more frequent feelings of frustration, depression. and loneliness during the pandemic according to the findings from AEI Parenting During a Pandemic Survey. Alongside depression, social isolation, and loneliness, binge drinking was up 41% among women since COVID-19, according to a survey published by the Journal of American Medical Association last year.

Melanie Donus, a Long Island mother of three school-age boys with autism, had no idea that she was embarking upon the pandemic publication of an Amazon #1 Best Seller when she wrote unsugarcoated letters to her deceased mom documenting her time during lockdown with her three boys with autism and her second attempt at sobriety. She has now launched a book giveaway called “100 to 100” where she is gifting 100 paperback books to 100 special needs moms in an effort to connect with others and make an impact to help provide support to other mothers who may feel loneliness and social isolation.

Donus dedicates her book to moms of autistic children who are struggling to cope with being caregivers during COVID and to bring awareness to their heroic bravery and strength during a time of unexpected enormous responsibility. Many mothers report feeling lonely and isolated while charged with overwhelming homeschooling schedules and minimal human contact compared to the pre-pandemic “Grand Central Station” interactive household with regular visits from therapists, teachers, and support staff. Reviews of her book consistently reflect how readers “felt like they were reading a book about themselves,” and confirmed “100%…this is really what autism looks like now, no exaggeration.”

“I get it…the loneliness and isolation is very real, yet rarely mentioned as special needs mothers tend to always wear a smile while powering through day-to-day overwhelming pandemic challenges. Social media is a challenge-in-itself, as it often paints a “Norman Rockwell” picture of families while we are barely surviving with our new responsibilities and rarely have time to make much needed human connection” Donus noted. She also reflects upon her now daily zoom calls in which addiction specialists continuously emphasize the connection between alcoholism and isolation; she even gives the name “Donna” to her pre-pandemic BFF, chardonnay, in her book.

Additional information on the book giveaway to support special needs mothers during COVID can be found on Donus’ website,, where mothers can request a book for themselves or gifted books can be nominated by a friend or family member.

Thanks for reading Hellenic News of America

Leaning on Mom is Melanie’s first personal book and quickly became a #1 Best Seller on Throughout the course of parenthood, Melanie has held various philanthropic leadership roles on Long Island. Outside of being the CEO of her boy’s busy lives, Melanie is a Vice President at Right Executive Search,, where she directs the Diversity Talent Acquisition division with a focus on career empowerment for women returning to the workforce and supporting diverse and minority candidates in the workplace. She is the co-author of their eBook series on job search strategies for “Returners”, and college students seeking an internship.

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