Click Here to Read about the Bergen County Football Classic

Our baseball closing day was a night game under the stars with our children, teens and adults playing with their buddies from LHS Baseball headed by Coaches Pat Auteri for Lyndhurst and QPHS Baseball team headed by Coach John Ahmuty. The boys from each high school stood in a line while our children picked 2 buddies each and then bonded and played. Our little ones got so much from their buddies and our older teens and adults gave so much to the boys that came to help. It was a win win situation!!! Thanks to the township of Lyndhurst for the use of Matera field and the LHS and QPHS baseball players our children and their families were given a feeling of belonging and pride. We served Italian Ice donated by Lyndhurst Pastry and hot dogs and soda to all. All the Special Angels boys and girls were given medals to commemorate the night and their memories will last a life time.
The Don Bosco vs Bergen Catholic game is THE biggest HS game of the year and our Football team got to play the half time game in front of 15,000 people and on National TV. It was the single most exciting part of our football season. Thanks to Mitch Morreale and Pat Glover from Lyndhurst Football and Ron Kistner from Bergen County the boys and girls on our flag team were treated like Queens and Kings. They were even given Bergen Catholic Jersey’s to take home and the County had tee shirts made to give to each player so they can remember the day forever as if they could ever forget it. Thank you to Coach Mike Carino for all he does for us. He got new flags for our big game and he brings his son and his Lyndhurst football friends each week to play football with us and get them ready for this big game. We were so glad you came to the BIG game you deserved the honor to stand there on that field for all the time you invested in our children. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's so important when guys like you come out and make a difference! This was a huge and proud moment for us here at Special Angels. Our teams showed thousands of people that our “special” children and adults have dreams and they can realize them. The Bergen Catholic Cheerleaders have invited our girls and boys from Sparks Cheerleading to come and spend an afternoon with them and we are so excited to do that. Thank you again Lyndhurst Flag Football and Mitch and Pat for making our season one to remember for a life time. and a special thank you to the Lyndhurst Firemen and the Lyndhurst Police for our Police and Fire truck escort the team was screaming out the windows to all the residents that heard the sirens and North Arlington Police and Firemen for picking us up at the Lyndhurst North Arlington border and extending our incredible ride that was the icing on the cake!!!!
Thank you for the wonderful day you gave us LPES! Jen came to me and said they wanted to do a special day for our children. We were so excited when she said Kick Ball an event that all ages can participate in. They purchased all the equipment, medals with puzzle pieces on them, gluten free products and had a BBQ for our children and their families at their facility and treated them like royalty. We cannot thank the LPES enough for reaching out and making a difference in our children and adults lives. It is truly a day that will not be forgotten!!!
June 28, 2012 was our first of many Extreme Proms. The event included all teens and adults whether you were a part of our organization or not. The event was held at Redds in Carlstadt and DJ Paulie P was there to make sure the teens and adults didn’t want to leave the dance floor. We had Jerseylicious Michael Anthony Salon, Teeze, Guy Anthony, and several other independents that came to do the girls hair and make-up. We had gowns donated for the girls that couldn’t get their own dress, Lyndhurst Florist and Flowers by Chuck donated corsages and flowers for the girls and boys, Le Chic designed the whole room including centerpieces, favors and candy table, Bella creations did centerpieces that we gave away to some of the attendees, Hey there Cupcake gave a beautiful 3 tier fondant cake, we had 3 photographers that took shots all night long and also set up a private photo booth and we had the WPIX party bus that was to transport the attendees to the Prom. The night was truly amazing from when they entered through the balloon arch to when they were all crowned prom queen and king. We are so proud of this event all was free except the plate which was $21 for a full buffet and dessert. Thank you to all that donated and thank you to our incredible chaperones that made sure everyone was safe!




Verizon Fios Interview

Channel 11 Link

Above is the link to our interview with Verizon. Fios News 1 which airs on their news casts and their 1 hour special Living with Autism!

We also had the pleasure thanks to the Dumont Knights of hanging with the Knights and Lisa Mateo from WPIX Channel 11 News and appeared on their morning news show. My girls and boys also got to hang on the party bus which is now being donated to our prom for the children to ride on from Lyndhurst to Redds!!!!


SPAN speaker meeting entitled IEP and Measurable Goals taking place on Monday April 16, 2012 at 6pm to 8pm taking place at the Senior Bldg 250 Cleveland Avenue Lyndhurst. This is a free speaker meeting but you must respond they need an exact headcount.

Ray Sette advisor for some super stars in Hollywood has agreed to provide our parents with a night of spiritual enlightenment. See a quote from a website. “What do the stars in the sky have to say about the stars in Hollywood? In this monthly column, Ray examines a celebrity's chart and discusses how specific astrological events throughout the celebrity's life presented certain opportunities that led the celebrity down his or her path to success” Ray has an interest in Autism and was delighted when I contacted him. We are in the process of setting up a date and time to offer this incredible opportunity. I will keep you posted on details but for now can I see how many we have interested?

Also, Kristin Selby Gonzalez National Speaker, Radio Talk Show Host, Writer, Internet TV Show Host,
Autism Advocate, Parent Educator, will be appearing at a conference in Newark and I approached her to ask her to come and do an intimate meeting with some of our parents and she is in the process of setting that up with us.

Also in the process of getting a speaker meeting on IPAD apps and how to use them for our special needs children.

As always we are dedicated to providing our families with as much information and education as possible. Let me know what you are interested in learning about. thanks

Click Here For SPAN Flyer


OUR CURRENT PROGRAMS OFFERED all programs are co ed and any different abilty

Monday Social Skills 6:30pm for children 5 to 11 years of age

Tuesday Rock Out Loud 7pm for children and adults of all ages

Wednesday Dance 6:30 pm for children ages 5 and up and adults of all ages

Thursday Yoga 6:30pm for children and adults of all ages

Thursday Readers Theater 7:30pm must know how to read ages 5 and up

Friday Martial Arts with Belts 6:30pm for children and adults of all ages

Saturday Sparks Cheer Dance 10am all year round ages 7 and up be prepared to travel we showcase all over NJ

Saturday in Fall Flag Football early afternoon for ages 8 and up

Saturday in Summer Bowling early afternoon for children and adults of all ages

Sunday Spring is Tee Ball Fall is Soccer and Winter is Basketball mornings time depends on age for children and adults of all ages

Prom for teens and adults 16 and older June 28th. This prom will have all the bells and whistles of typical proms We have hair and make up artists to do the girls hair (updo's too) corasages limos photographers center pieces and favors themed cake food DJ and so much more Please call Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738

Special days Holiday Parties

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
April 1 for more information please call Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738

Halloween Party with Trunk or Treat
date TBA
Dinner with Santa date TBA

Shooting for the Stars Basketball Challenge March 24 6:30pm our teens with special needs play against the Lyndhurst Police Dept in a basketball challenge with our Sparks doing the half time show please call Debbie or Tara 201-966-8738 for more information

Born to Be Wild Motorcycle Run
June 10th with a rain date of June 17 !


Our SPARKS has received many awards from the Governor, Congressional Award, Assembly Award, the Freeholders and County Executive Award and the Salute to Champions Award presented by the Division of Disabilities, have been the topic of many newspaper articles and made the front cover of the Our Meadowlands Magazine. They have won many trophies for their many performances each year and last season took first place at 6 Flags and Jamfest Nationals in their division. What you may not know is the girls and boys are now featured in a documentary called “CHEER”. The 13 minute promo will be available for viewing shortly and by next year you will be seeing it at major film festivals and some local theaters. I am so proud of our squad!

The 2012 season opening performance this year was at Ramapo College and it was a huge success. The squad will be performing at many local competitions, Toms River, Wildwood, Asbury Park and 6 Flags this year. The team through fundraising efforts got new Uniforms and new routine including some tumbling and some great stunts. SPARKS is the only cheer dance squad I know that is made up of 25 children and adults with autism, down syndrome, severe medical conditions and many other diagnosis. They are living their dream! The squad is entering a contest that if they win they will be the stars of a TV commercial. Good luck SPARKS!



Closing day of basketball.....Mike Simmel from the Harlem Wizards performing for our Special Angels


SOCCER – registration in person is this Thursday, August 4th 7:30 to 8:30pm at the LaSalle Center 200 Ridge Road North Arlington side ramp entrance between dunkin doughnuts and Queen of Peace Church. By mail see attached form mail $40 check made payable to Putting the Pieces Together 85 Exton Avenue North Arlington NJ 07031. We play Sundays 10 to 11am and 11am to 12pm. All registrations need to be in on or before August 10th.

CHEER registration in person this Thursday, August 4th 7:30 to 8:30pm at the LaSalle Center 200 Ridge Road North Arlington side ramp entrance between dunkin doughnuts and Queen of Peace Church. By mail see attached form mail $40 check made payable to Putting the Pieces Together 85 Exton Avenue North Arlington NJ 07031. We practice Saturdays 10 to 11am. All registrations need to be in on or before August 6th which is our first practice for new girls signing. Saturday August 6th 10 am to 11am. Our girls already signed up will be practicing tomorrow Saturday July 30 10am

FOOTBALL – our first Football practice starts this Thursday August 4th 6 to 7pm at the Lyndhurst High School corner of Weart and Fern Avenues please be on time and if you didn’t fill out a form please bring one with you along with registration fee of $40 made payable to Putting the Pieces Together. We will find out when the pep rally is when picture day is and so much more that day so please make sure you attend. Also please respond by email if you have registered and are playing football so I can double check my roster also repond if you are signing up at practice this week. I need an email please.

SOCIAL SKILLS - Social skills – registration on or before Aug 5th 8 weeks with 8th week family social swim party ending the session Mondays are 2 hours 630 to 830pm $200.00 for all 8 weeks. Class needs to be age appropriate so based on enrollment we will take the children that are in the majority of the age range that registered. we need at least 4 children and no more than 6 children Please email with your response asap so we know to hold a spot we cannot take more than 6 children.

1. Brain gym (opens up both sides of the brain and wakes up neurons) and group hello

2. Literature crafts based on popular books and theme crafts

3. OT with sensory bin, shaving cream play, fine and gross motor play (honey bee game, operation etc.)

4. Speech – after each roll of the dice during a game we are playing we have speech cards the children will be using with prompt cards if needed to answer questions, we also are using auditory games and receptive and expressive speech games

5. Specials – every other week there will be a special run by trained instructors etc

6. Ending session on 8th week family social swim

Starts Sept 19th ending Nov 14th which is our social swim and taking off Oct 31st for Halloween

PEER MODEL – Registration due on or before August 5th For children 12 and up playing and learning social skills from typical peers. This group is run by typical teens with Tara or I over seeing it. This program promotes natural play skills and gives them the opportunity to model typical behaviors. There is no therapist involved in any peer model group the idea is to have the special needs child rely and interact with their typical peer. This group runs from 630pm to 8pm and is $100 for 8 weeks. We can take up to 6 teens and this fills up fast. This was a huge success last year. Day of the week to be announced


I would like to conclude by sharing a letter one of our SPARKS cheerleaders wrote to the head of Nike and emailed to me. I am so amazed by our children and wanted everyone to see the exceptional child Elizabeth is. Elizabeth is 16 years old and has special needs. She took it upon herself to think of this idea and then construct this letter. We have many exceptional children and families in our org. We are very lucky!!!!!

Dear Mr.Parker,

I am a big fan of Nike! Me and my brother are special needs, and we play sports that special needs kids can play like Cheerleading, football, and so on. Unlike regular sports we are able to have big name sponsors because we are not regular teams. My Cheerleading team's name is the Sparks and all are sports are called Special Angels Recreation. My Cheerleading team made it to two different cheer nationals at Atlantic City and Six Flags. Even though we have are own category we all feel like we accomplished something. We are wondering if you and Nike wood like to be are sponsors?! We are also doing a Tricky Tray in March of 2012. We are hoping to raise more money than we did last year. Please Mr.Parker if you can can you donate some money?! Even though a lot of us don't see each other because we do different sports and some of us are lucky enough to go to school or be friends out of school and sports we are one big family! Just like a regular family Deborah are President is like are mother, the parents are like are Aunts and Uncles, and the kids are like sisters and brothers. What I am trying to say is we know your probably always busy running a company and all, but please just take a little time and consider my proposal! We are very talented and brave children! Here is are web site:

We would love your help!




Special Angels SPARKS Competition Cheer Squad had a great season. They attended many competitions showcasing their talent and inspiring the many lives they touched. “Pride and admiration come to mind when I think of my girls” says President Deborah Wertalik.” I am so proud of what they have accomplished and I admire their hard work and dedication to the sport of cheerleading. They are cheerleaders in every sense of the word. They have worked hard and when they shine on the mat it shows.”.  SPARKS traveled to Nationals and took first place in their division at Jamfest in Atlantic City and then on to Six Flags to perform at the BatMan Arena. “It was breathtaking to see our girls performat Six Flags in front of such a large audience but also to see them as a team enjoy all of Six Flags and Wild Kingdom as their reward for their outstanding performance” says one of their coaches and mom to one of the SPARKS Tara Banuls. SPARKS and their coaches also received the Governor’s Awards this year. Though the girls live in many different towns it was unanimous they wanted Mayor Richard J. Di Lascio of Lyndhurst to present the awards to their children because Lyndhurst was their home. Without Mayor Di Lascio and the Lyndhurst Commissioners the program would never be. You cannot run a program without a place to run it so they are directly responsible for all of SPARKS successes.

Thanks to the hard work of our coaches Danielle Choinski, Erin Lewis and Tara Banuls our girls did things that no other special needs squad has accomplished and their news season will have a new goal and that is to host their very own Cheer Competition.” Our coaches are amazing we are so lucky to have them”, said Wertalik.  SPARKS had a float in the North Arlington Memorial Day Parade thanks to Scott and Barbara Lewis and the most amazing Nationals Jackets thank to Frank Bennedettoof Lyndhurst who worked tirelessly to raise money to buy the jackets and they were presented to the girls by Mayor Di Lascio and were the envy of all their classmates when they wore them to school.

Our new season is starting again so any girl or boy ages 8 and up with special needs can join. Please contact Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738. Practices held every Saturday morning at the Community Center in Lyndhurst starting July 9th



Special Angels and Lyndhurst Flag Football have gotten together and created a flag football program with a special twist. President of Special Angels Deborah Wertalik, VP Tara Banuls Jack and Sean Yocum Special Angels head Football coaches and Lyndhurst coordinator of Flag Football Pat Glover,  President of Football Mitch Morreale and Rob Crespo  have created an amazing opportunity for both typical and special needs children a football mentoring program that will grow in time to include so much for each child.

The mentoring program will include both children wearing the same number, taking their football picture together, exchanging information, going to their mentors games both away and home if they can and so much more. This will be a life changing experience. This bond could follow both children for the rest of their lives. It’s a character builder and very educational for the typical mentor and the special needs child gets a social experience along with the possibility of a life long friend.

Registration for our special angels Flag Football with a special twist program will be held Thursday, June 23, 2011 at the La Salle Center 200 Ridge Road side ramp entrance between Dunkin Doughnuts and Queen of Peace Church from 730pm to 830pm. The form can also be downloaded from the website and mailed to us at 85 Exton Avenue North Arlington NJ 07031 or you can call for more information to Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738 or 201-679-0569. Registration fee is $40 and we need a picture of your child and a short biography of your child included with registration on or before June 23, 2011. We cannot thank Lyndhurst Football enough for this wonderful opportunity. The visions these men have along with ours will make this an incredible program. Special Angels Recreation has been giving children with different needs the choices they deserve for going on 7 years. We are making the impossible possible!

 Bowling Registration | Football Registration





Please join us on June 5th with a rain date of June 12th at 10am to register at the Orange Lantern 15 Firehouse Lan,e Paramus with continental breakfast and coffee, Blessing of the Bike and Blessing for our special children, Bagpipes, and DJ than ride at 12pm sharp to Bear Mountain 7 Lakes scenic and fully escorted and back to the Lantern for the after party. We have a pig roast thanks to the LFD, Paramus FD will be cooking the burgers donated by Magnolia Beef and Burger Maker, and John “Jed” Jedrejczyk will cook the hot dogs donated by Pushcart International and Shop Rite of Lyndhurst and pulled park sandwiches from Maschio’s Catering. We have 5 minute massages compliments of Sun Institute and live music by the Knight Crawlers and DJ Houst Dark. Miller girls and Jack Daniels girls will be doing giveaways and you can buy a raffle to win a motorcycle from another organization.  Big Mama will be giving away several dz autism necklaces that she makes and the Bergen County Police and Bergen County Sheriff's Dept will be helping us keep the run safe! Please join us and if you can pass this along to other bikers we would appreciate it! if you don't ride you can purchase a wristband and enjoy the event from 10am to ending for $10 per person. thanks for the support and hope you can make it!

There is something to do for everyone and our run is known for “never having to put your feet down” so bikers love it! Pre reg is until May 31st for a $5 discount. The day of event registration is $20 for riders and $15 for passenger.

Please join us for a good cause! 1 in 94 children in NJ are diagnosed with autism and in NNJ 1 in 50 boys are diagnosed. We also provide opportunities for children with down syndrome, CP, apraxia, fragile X, ADD, ADHD, PDD NOS and many other diagnoses. PTPT and Special Angels has been providing many services year round for children with special needs and their families for over 6 years and every cent we raise goes to the children. Please call Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738 for more information or come up the day of and register.

Motorcycle Run Flyer

Motorcycle Run Registartion Form




As you know SPARKS is our special needs cheer dance squad made up of many different abilities including autism, down syndrome, multi disabled and other diagnoses and made up from many different towns and counties. We are the only squad out there with all special needs children and adults participating there are no typical children in our squad. The ages range from 7 years old to 20 and 1 girl in her 30’s. Our girls have mastered a full extension, split, knee stand, hitch, jumps and more. What you may not know is that our SPARKS just returned from Atlantic City where they performed in front of their largest crowd to date at Nationals. Yes you heard right our girls went to Nationals and won first place in their division!!!! The girls just received the Governor’s Award and are on their way in May to 6 Flags to perform there. They are also going to have their very own float in the Memorial Day parade in North Arlington. We couldn’t be more proud of our girls and our coaches Danielle Choinski, Tara Banuls, Erin Lewis and our Assistant Coach Gianna Jacobelli. Without these wonderful individuals that all work equally as hard and are all devoted to our girls none of this would be possible. It’s a real team effort. Our girls have become a family supporting each other and big sisters looking out for their little sisters. We are going to have a Jammy Jam Party to celebrate right before we leave for 6 Flags and Nationals Jackets will be presented at a celebration for the girls when they return. These girls work harder than any other Cheer Leader I know because everything is 10 times harder for them but they do it because they want to follow their dream of being a cheerleader. We are very lucky to have our Emmy Award winning Producer Director filming our girls for a documentary our SPARKS will be in. She is amazing for doing this. We would like to thank LGB for donating this years uniforms and the Ferrara family for donating the personalization of the uniforms. We are blessed to have the most wonderful parents that support every decision and suggestion our coaches have and get on the road and help their children follow their dreams. I am so proud of our parents for all their hard work. Most of all I am proud of our girls for always giving it their all and it shows!!!! Our girls are spreading the best kind of awareness to thousands every time they perform!!!!! Congratulations SPARKS you deserve all the great things that are coming your way for all your hard work and dedication. We couldn’t be more proud.

sparks 2

The James Guirland Shooting for the Stars Basketball Challenge

Our teens play basketball against the Lyndhurst Police Dept every year in our Shooting for the Stars Basketball Challenge. This year we played in honor of Coach Jimmy Guirland. Jimmy will always live on in our hearts. He was an amazing Coach and at the age of 26 touched many of our special needs children’s hearts and left footprints that will never be forgotten. We donated all the proceeds to his family and had Sen. Sarlo do a Resolution for Jimmy that was from the State Senate and Assembly.  The night was amazing our boys scored high against the LPD and Tyler Banuls, the child that is the reason Special Angels exists, made the last and winning basket with a little help from his friends (the LPD). We had Marley Rodriguez sing the National Anthem, there were vendors, good food, wonderful DJPaulie (Paul Passamano), our half time show was amazing with SPARKS, our special needs cheer dance squad, performing and  some of the Lyndhurst Teddy’s came to perform too. There was a half court challenge with a prize of $50 to Basketball Heaven and all the participants in the half court challenge got a new basketball. Presentations, trophies and plaques ended the night that filled the High School Gym to capacity. It was standing room only and the best awareness you could ask for. Thanks to all that attended and made it a success both for the Guirlands and for the awareness. Jimmy was definitely smiling down on us.

Nationals for SPARKS

Our SPARKS have been together for 5 years. They have worked very hard to impress and wow the judges and the thousands who have watched them perform. This year Coaches Danielle, Tara and Erin are taking them to a new level, Nationals in Atlantic City.  With the help of Assistant Coach GiannaJacobelli we are heading to AC and hoping to impress and wow the South Jersey judges! Our girls will be getting Nationals Jackets for their participation from Putting the Pieces Together and recently at a Lyndhurst Mayor’s meeting the girls received Governor’s Awards for their outstanding contribution to raising awareness thanks to our President Deborah Wertalik. They are ending their season at a 2nd Nationals at 6 Flags Great Adventure not only performing but going through Wild Kingdom and having a fun filled day at 6 Flags. As always MO (Mary Olive Smith) our Emmy award winning producer director will be capturing all on film that will hopefully hit the big screen. CONGRATULATIONS SPARKS!!!!!!  Please check out the NJ Cheer competitions to see where they are performing and come and cheer them on.



Special Angels Football and SPARKS sideline cheerleaders were lucky enough to be a part of the NY Giants Kick Punt and Pass for special needs children. We were allowed to invite 25 of our Football Players and Cheer Squad to the New Giant Stadium in East Rutherford to hang out and  play with Giant legends Zak De Ossie, Justin Tucks, Lawrence Tynes and a few other wonderful players. The day started with tee shirts from the Giants, then on the field with the players to do some kicking, punting and passing. Each child got a back pack filled with goodies and frosty drinks, then pictures and autographs. We left the field and headed to the press box to have lunch provided by the Giants Staff. The day was incredible and our children were amazing to say the least. Every child showed their athletic ability and their manners as they played right along side the Giants. Special Angels Athletes were than featured on Channel 5, Channel 11 and several other news shows. Please check back to see pictures and video of the day. It was a great day!!!


Special Angels is pleased to announce a new addition to our programs Social Swim. This takes place on a monthly basis and is not a swim lesson. Life Guards are there at the state of the art brand new facility and parents are urged to bring safety devices to help the children be as independent as possible in the water. The children are encouraged to socialize with the other children in the pool and parents are socializing as well. It’s a win win for everyone. SAR is dedicated to bringing families of children with different needs together to learn, socialize and support each other in an effort to form a second family. We also strive to spread awareness to the community. SAR pays the fees associated with this program and is providing it as a free program. There is a waiting this for this program.



Please support us by attending our Dine to Donate at Uno Chicago Grill Route 3 W Clifton between the hours of 11am to 2am that is 15 hours. You can get take out, dine in or bar and we get 15% of what you spend. Thank you so much for your support and please print out this flyer and hand it to your waitress for us to get credit. If you could post this on your facebook, Twitter, My Space, email and ask your family and friends to dine for a cause.

Print this Flyer and Bring it with You



Our dance program has started but there is room for more. We have girls 6 through 21 participating in jazz ballet and tap with a recital at the end. This program is wonderful. We are also registering for Cheer both Football sideline cheer and competition cheer. Girls ages 6 through 21 are registering to participate in our cheer program. This year we plan on going to National's with our girls. The North Arlington and Lyndhurst Cheer Leaders also come and hang with our girls so it's great peer modeling. Football is for boys ages 10 and up we will start with a pep rally and end with our superbowl. We have a gentleman that not only works with children in a special needs school but also has a 21 year old brother with autism so I know this program will be fantastic. Our boys get to go to the New Giant's Stadium to do the kick punt and pass with the Giant's we are so proud!!!!! We are also registering boys and girls ages 3 and up to play soccer starting in Sept sign ups for all of the above end the last week in August. That is when equipment and unforms will be ordered. We are working on our Walk for Autism, Autism Stock and Bicycle Run for children with special needs and their typical peers. No dates yet we will keep you posted.


Football | Peer | Sparks | Soccer | Music




We are ending our tee ball season with our Closing Day at the Community Center. All free to the children and their families Hot Dogs, water, hot pretzles, popcorn, cotton candy, spin art, Lyndhurst Pastry Italian Ice, carnival games, DJ, baked goods and so much more! We would also like to thank our wonderful Lyndhurst Fire Dept for sending a fire truck down to spray the children so anyone attending should wear a bathing suit. We are so thankful for the people that support us!!! Our children and their families appreciate it more than words can say.


We are pleased to announce that our Liberty Science Center group trip was a huge success and we are in the process of planning our summer trips. They will include Jenkinsons Aquarium in Point Pleasant, Chocolate Etc and a few others. Hope you can join us!


Putting the Pieces Together announces their new Peer Model Group. The group will meet on Wednesday evenings in Lyndhurst. We are registering children ages 10 years old to 13 years old with special needs and typical teens 8th grade and up to hang together doing age appropriate things in hopes to educate typical teens on autism and hope our children will model their peers. This is a great opportunity and we are very excited about this opportunity to serve our children. For more information please email us.

2nd Annual Born to Be Wild Motorcycle Run

Thanks to all that attended our Motorcycle Run in June. It was more than we could have hoped for. We would like to also thank all that sponsored and donated their services we could never have done it without you.

Putting the Pieces Together and Special Angels Recreation is hosting their 2nd Annual Born to Be Wild Motorcycle Run for autism on Sunday June 6th with a rain date of June 13th 10am to register and enjoy a continental breakfast along with juice and coffee for all at the Orange Lantern 15 Firehouse Lane Paramus riding to Bear Mountain 7 Lakes at 12pm sharp and returning to the Orange Lantern for the after party with live entertainment, pig roasts, burgers, hot dogs, drink specials, Miller Girls, Jack Daniel Girls, Silk City Tattoo, 5 min massage, bagpipes, Blessing of the Bikes, a free tee shirt and more. Reg fee is $20 a rider $15 a passenger with $5 off pre reg. Come ride for a good cause. Call Debbie or Tara for more information or email.  Hope you can join us for a great time and please pass this on to anyone you know that has a motorcycle to ride or a car to show/ride. Also anyone that wants to come and enjoy the day without a bike or car wrist bands are $10 per person. Please pass on our flyer to anyone you think would be interested or post anywhere that you think would be helpful.

Click here for Motorcycle Run Flyer

Tee Ball Season Approaching

Signups for the 2010 season of Tee Ball are March 25th, April 1st and April 8th  at our Support Group meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm LaSalle Center 200 Ridge Road North Arlington side ramp entrance between Dunkin Doughnuts and Queen of Peace Church. Registration fee is $40 per child and games are played on Sunday mornings. No knowledge of the game is required and all different abilities from any town or county will be accepted. Ages 3 and up are playing year round sports with their parents present at each game.  There are no practices and we are always looking for volunteers to coach or help out. If you are interested in getting your child out in the fresh air, getting a great workout and enjoying time with their family Special Angels is the place for you. Please contact Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738.

Flag Football and Football Cheer

Flag Football and Football Cheer are our newest additions to the Special Angels roster of programs. Our children that participate in this program will be going to the brand new Giant Stadium to participate with the Giants in the Kick Punt and Pass event they host. We love to expose our children to these wonderful events because we feel they are real  self esteem boosters and also make them feel so special.

For Football boys and girls ages 12 and up will learn the drills needed to play the game of football. The program will be run by a special needs aid and will have the support of a special needs teacher. Flag Football requires no tackle and is a safe way to teach our children the sport of football. Typical siblings are welcome to join and we will be playing in Lyndhurst on a Saturday early afternoon outdoors in the fall. Parents must be present while any sport we offer is played.

For Football cheer girls ages 8 and up will be learning the drills needed to do football cheer.  Cheer will require months of practice to learn the sideline cheers and half time routine that will be used in the fall so registration for cheer is March 25th and April 1st at our Support Group meeting on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm LaSalle Center 200 Ridge Road North Arlington side ramp entrance between Dunkin Doughnuts and Queen of Peace Church. Cheer will start in May on Sunday mornings outdoors and will continue through the summer and then through football season in the fall.

The fee for cheer or football is $40 per child. This is the first of its kind program and we are so proud to offer it! Special Angels has been providing unique programs that no one else has offered and has been successful with each program. Please contact Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738 to register.

 Shooting for the stars basketball Challenge

We hosted our 2nd annual Shooting for the Stars Basketball Challenge on Saturday March 20th and it was a great awareness event. Our teenage boys played against the Lyndhurst Police Dept and boy did they shine. The boys scored over 100 baskets and wowed the audience with their incredible skills thanks to Coach Carol Rouski and her daughter Katie. They worked with the boys every weekend during our season teaching them the drills needed to be able to play basketball. The night was filled with excitement, good food vendors, airbrush stand, and our halftime show which was unique and entertaining with Jack the Jackal taking pictures with the children and of course making the crowd laugh, Harlem Wizard Mike Simmel came to do some basketball stunts and audience participation stunts, the Lyndhurst Rec Teddys entertained us with their incredible routine that won them first place earlier that day at a competition thanks to the wonderful coaching of Bernadette Montillo, Sheriff Mc Guire presented the boys and SPARKS with commendation and Bergen County Executive Dennis Mc Neirny honored our President Deborah Wertalik with an award. SPARKS special needs competition cheer dance squad entertained us with their incredible cheer and dance, Mayor Di Lascio from Lyndhurst and other Officials were present to cheer the boys on and a fun time was had by all. The night was a magical night filled with emotion as our children showed the audience exactly what they are capable of. The night ended with trophies for the boys, trophies to Coach Carol who is also a board member of the org, Ron Branchick a parent and board member that assisted Carol and Katie through the season, Paul Passamano who works hard to make things possible for our children, Mayor Di Lascio for always understanding the needs of our children  and 2 special presentations one to Bergen County Sheriff Leo P Mc Guire for all he does for our children and Mary Olive Smith “MO” our Emmy Award winning Producer/Director that has been filming our SPARKS for several months. This is one of our favorite events because it raises so much awareness.

We want to thank the South Bergenite for coming to take some pictures because they give our children a voice.
A little boy went up to our President and said “That boy over their on your team really knows how to shoot baskets he’s awesome, she replied “ Thank you and you are awesome too” that is what it’s all about awareness understanding and acceptance.


PTPT funds awareness events and Special Angels Recreation programs. At a recent fundraiser there were 260 or so people in attendance. We are very lucky to have such support. Our next fundraiser will be our Born to be Wild Motorcycle Run in June. Look for details to be posted shortly.

Awareness Events Coming Soon

We will be hosting a community day “Make Friends with Autism” (go to to find out more about this wonderful and educational program funded by Kohls Care, sponsored by Children’s Specialized Hospital and produced and directed by Emmy award winning producer/director Mary Olive Smith. Tyler Banuls our Presidents grandchild was one of the young stars in the documentary with classic autism that helped to make a difference in the lives of children with autism. More information on this event to follow.

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

PTPT Support Group hosted their annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny for members of our support group. Our Dad’s go early and cook breakfast including pancakes, eggs, breakfast potatoes, sausage,  waffles, French toast and set out lots of cold breakfast items such as bagels, muffins, danish and other goodies plus juice coffee and tea. The breakfast was great and there were plenty of leftovers which we donated to the Knights of Columbus for their generosity every year. The donation of their hall for Easter and Christmas means a lot to our families.

The Easter Bunny came and handed out eggs filled with goodies, there were craft stations with candy at every station, hard boiled eggs for all the children to dye, egg on a spoon races and so much more to do. Pictures were taken and the families celebrated Easter in an accepting and understanding atmosphere that made the children feel comfortable.


Thanks to the North Arlington Knights of Columbus for the donation of their large room and unlimited soda and the many wonderful 5 star restaurants that donated more food than we could eat Christmas with Santa was a hugh success with close to 200 people attending. Our wonderful area and not so close restaurants donated lots of wonderful food for the families to feast on including some of the best assorted desserts, coffee and tea. A beautiful cake from the Cake Boss from foodnetwork was the perfect ending to our feast. The children visited 5 craft stations with their large goody bags provide by PTPT and they made a different craft and got candy at all 5 stations to fill their goody bag with. All of a sudden through the Christmas music our President Deborah Wertalik heard the hoofs of reindeer and bells from Santa and low and behold there he was larger than life Santa to hand a toy to every child along with goody bags. This event was a free event to the families and paid for by Putting the Pieces Together. Thanks to my hard working Board we had a wonderful time. What a magical night! One parent was quoted as saying "This is the first time my son got to see Santa and he is 10" another parent was quoted as saying "This is the first time since the diagnosis that we have gone out as a family"


Putting the Pieces Together has been dedicated to families affected by autism and other different abilities since 2005. We are here to support and educate families with our speaker meetings and workshops and enhance the lives of children and adults affected by autism and other different abilities with year round sports and leisure activities. You’ll never walk alone as long as we are here. When you are a part of our organization you are not alone we embark on this journey together as a force to be reckoned with.  Putting the Pieces Together is an Organization dedicated to bringing Autism Awareness to communities and families not affected by Autism in an effort to bring about understanding and acceptance. Please take a look at our website and what we have to offer and know that though this may not be the journey you expected to take you are not alone.

Breaking News…..

Putting the Pieces Together will be paying and hosting staff training for 3 local libraries so they can have an in-depth training workshop educating them on how to better serve the autism community. The 3 libraries will be North Arlington, Lyndhurst and Rutherford. The goal of this in-depth customer service training is to heighten library staff awareness of issues related to the autism community and empower them to provide better service to this growing population. The film was produced by Mary Olive Smith a 2009 Emmy award winner for her documentary A Walk to Beautiful. We are supplying a continental breakfast along with a hot lunch donated by local businesses.

Putting the Pieces Together is dedicated to educating families businesses and communities because education is our best weapon against autism. We are the baby boomers of autism and in the near future our State will be flooded with an overwhelming population of adults with autism. Our goal is to help our State find a way to better to serve and understand this growing population. Autism is at an epidemic level especially in New Jersey. It’s our duty as family members of children with autism to make sure our State is prepared for them when they are adults. I see no plan in sight so we need to put together a plan and make sure it’s implemented for the good of our children. Putting the Pieces Together is doing their part to ensure that our future adults with autism have every opportunity to grow, flourish and co exist in this world that is so foreign to them.

Jam Cats Music Therapy * NEW PROGRAM

Music Therapy with the Jam Cats – I met DJ at Tyler’s Rocking Horse Rehab Camp this summer and thought he was amazing with the children. Every child was engaged and having a great time.  This program is a themed weekly program for 10 weeks 1 hour a week on Thursdays at 7pm. The first class starts with All About Me, Fall, Holiday themes and so much more. DJ brings his acoustic guitar, bongo and several other instruments that he and the children will play along with songs that children know and love and new songs that they will grow to love. This is a program that we are very proud to have and if you would like more information on this program you can give us a call.

Thanks to our music therapy classes provided by The Jam Cats our children are being exposed to many forms of music including but not limited to Classical, Raggae, disco, rap, 60's, beatles, country, rock and so much more! We can't thank DJ enough for opening the world of music for our children. The instruments our children are learning about are instruments I have never known about and I see the parents enjoying this class as much as the children. I know I am and I'm a grandparent!

Parent Reviews
*Richard had a good time (knew he would).  On the drive home he wanted to know if he could come back tomorrow.  I think DJ from Jam Cats kept the kids engaged and gave lots of opportunity to follow directions.

*Ian LOVED it! The Jam Cats rule!

*As a mom I loved it - so did Crystal.  

*Tyler came home and searched their site he loved DJ and the program Jam Cats Rock!!!!!

Abrakadoodle Art Therapy * NEW PROGRAM

Abrakadoodle is an art therapy that is taught by a teacher of the handicapped trained by Abrakadoodle in art and guaranteed to bring out the young Picasso in your child. Abrakadoodle helps launch Crayola's "Lights, Camera, Color!" Campaign. Abrakadoodle won Nickelodeon's 2009 Parents' Picks Winner and Abrakadoodle won more first place awards for "Best Art Class" than any other art program in the country!  We are proud to offer the opportunity to enrich our children’s lives with art. Art is a great way for our children to express themselves and is very therapeutic. The classes are on Friday evenings at 6:30pm for 1 hr and go on for 10 weeks. For more information please give us a call.

Adaptive Tennis is Here

We were trained by the USTA to teach adaptive Tennis and just started our program on Saturday afternoons for ages 8 through 18. We are teaching basic skills and are going to take some trips to help the children understand what our goal is. Our first trip will be to an indoor tennis court to watch a junior. game. The second trip will be to the Children’s Day at the US Tennis Opens to really open the children’s world to the sport of Tennis. We are very excited about this program and hope to see our children understand the game and be able to play singles and doubles. Each session will be 10 weeks long and will end with a celebration to reward our children for working hard to learn a difficult sport.

Jed Baker and Bridget Taylor to PTPT

We recently had the honor of hosting 2 very informative speaker meetings at no cost to anyone that attended. 

On July 23rd, 2009 Bridget Taylor came to speak to us about how to increase skills in our children. Dr. Taylor is co-founder and Executive Director of Alpine Learning Group. She has specialized in the education and treatment of children with autism for the past twenty-four years. She holds a Doctorate of Psychology from Rutgers University, and received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Columbia University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Psychologist. Dr. Taylor is active in the autism research community and has published numerous articles on effective interventions for autism. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Interventions, and Behavior Analysis in Practice. She is also a member of the Autism Advisory Group for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, is a member of the Expert panel of the National Autism Center’s National Standards Project, and is a board member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. Dr. Taylor is also senior clinical advisor for Rethink Autism (an innovative web-based curriculum for children with autism). She is a national and international speaker and has authored numerous research articles and book chapters related to autism.

I would like to tell you that we learned so much from this expert. She allowed us to ask questions and really gave us some tools to increase our children’s skills. We are very thankful that she came to speak to us and look forward to having her again. She had so much knowledge to share and everyone walked away with something.

On September 17th Jed Baker came to speak to us at a free speaker meeting our organization offered to anyone that wished to attend. Dr. Jed Baker has been a clinical psychologist since 1992. He is a behavioral consultant for several New Jersey School systems, where he provides social skills training for students with pervasive developmental disorders and learning disabilities. He directs and supervises social skills training for students at Millburn Public Schools. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training across the country on the topic of social skills training for individuals with Aspergers Syndrome and related Pervasive Developmental Disorders. He has recently published an award winning manual on social skills training for children with Asperger Syndrome and a social skill picture book to aid in social skills training. Dr. Jed Baker was interviewed on ABC's NIghtline and ABC's World News with Charles Gibson.

When you attend a speaker meeting with Dr. Baker he gives you the tools to handle challenging behaviors, prevent temper outbursts and increase social skills for all children and students. He shares ways to motivate both verbal and nonverbal students to willingly engage in social interactions. He also outlines a comprehensive approach to skills training that includes instruction of students with autism and their peers. Skills include: joint attention, conversation, play, cooperative work, managing frustration, dating, and employment. The use of humor and engaging, fun activities is described and demonstrated throughout his dynamic presentation. We are very thankful for having Dr Baker come to speak with us and hope he will join us again real soon. Everyone walked away with something and Dr Baker allowed us to ask questions both in the group and privately before he left. He is incredible and we want to thank him for his valuable time and knowledge.

These are just 2 of the wonderful speaker meetings we have had in the past few months. Look for more to come!



Our own President/Co founder, Deborah Wertalik, was an honoree at the prestigious Jefferson Awards Ceremony for 2009. She was one of 26 chosen from over 300 people that were nominated to win this National award. In 1972, along with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., Mr. Beard co-founded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service to create a Nobel Prize for public service. The Jefferson Awards recognize both ordinary people who do extraordinary things and individuals whose public service has had a broad national impact. National winners have included four Justices of the Supreme Court, including Sandra Day O'Connor and Thurgood Marshall; seven Secretaries of State, including Colin Powell and Cyrus Vance; as well as Alan Greenspan, Bob Hope, Lance Armstrong and Stephen Jobs. Over 155 newspapers, television and radio stations herald local "Unsung Heroes" the nation's largest media partnership fostering volunteerism.

First, the selectors review acts of courage, vision, dedication, and tenacity. Is there anything outstanding, unique, heroic about the nominee and his or her character?

Second, they review the impact on the community. Public service is about serving people and communities. As the nominee addresses important issues facing local communities or the country, has the nominee had a measurable impact? Through our Jefferson Awards Media partners, we are applauding "Unsung Heroes." Eligibility includes volunteers as well as paid professionals who go well above and beyond their expected service. "Unsung" means not normally in the media. The Jefferson Awards are a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America.

Below is the piece that Jessie Zacche wrote that helped the Board to choose Debbie over the many other deserving nominees.

Debbie Wertalik is a wonderful grandmother to her grandson Tyler who has autism. Because of Tyler, Debbie and her daughter, Tara, have started a support group, Putting the Pieces Together, for families with special-needs children. She also has started a year-round sports league called Special Angels Recreation so that every child with special needs can play sports like Tee ball, soccer, basketball, bowling, cheerleading and dance classes with their peers.

Special Angels is open to any child or family no matter where they live or the nature of the child’s disability. She works tirelessly on these programs as well as the many fund raisers needed to support them such as walks, art auctions, tricky trays, dine to donates, coin tosses and the upcoming motorcycle run and golf outing. Her daughter Tara and other group members assist her but she is the heart and soul of the group that includes more than 100 families. She works night and day to run this organization and to raise funds so that special angels can obtain its own field and eventually its own building to run the programs.

As a mother of three special needs children I know what a challenge it is to deal with issues at home and in public; but Debbie goes above and beyond her own family to make things possible for other kids. She has created for us a large extended family. She is a mom to me and a grandmother to my kids as well as a great neighbor and a phenomenal friend and mentor.

Our organization would like to thank Debbie for her tireless efforts and many hours of hard work and dedication to our group. She is an inspiration and we are very lucky to have her as our children's advocate.


Tara Banuls, Vice President/Co Founder


Our very own Lori Latteri and Wayne Bardowell went and represented us at the Darryl Strawberry Book Signing in Harrison. Many greats were there among them Bernie Williams, Roy White, Mickey Rivers, Robinson Cano, Joe Pepitone, Mike Torrez, Tim Raines, Josh Boone, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Chase Blackburn, Ray Lucas and more.

Lori made sure that everyone heard about our group she even got to speak to the crowd and Wayne donated his services as a photographer for them since they didn’t have one as an act of good faith in hopes that one day they will do something nice for our children. Thanks to Wayne and Lori many sports greats know that our children are out there playing year round sports. Great Job!

More Meetings To Come for Deidre and Debbie

President Deborah Wertalik had an opportunity to meet Deidre and Don Imus recently and Deidre Imus is very interested in meeting with her to discuss the future of our children. Both women share similar views on Autism and are looking forward to a future meeting where they can discuss doing some wonderful things for our children. Both Deidre and Don were very impressed with our group. This can be a very wonderful opportunity for our organization.


We would like to thank the many wonderful people that were responsible for making our First Motorcycle Run and Car Show a huge success. With almost 300 bikes and 30 cars participated so we far exceeded our expectations. It was both emotional and exciting and a day our org will never forget. I got to ride in the run with my grandchildren a 1 1/2 hr ride through Bear Mountain in a Bergen County Sheriff's car. The scenery was breath taking and the people who helped us along with our hard working PTPT Staff did an excellent job. Next year we hope to double in size and include a Pig Cook Off  to ensure we have enough Pig to go around.



There are many runs for autism but our run will directly affect children already diagnosed with autism and other different needs. Our run will take place on June 7th  with a rain date of June 14th. We are registering and getting our wristbands at 10am with a blowout continential breakfast and coffee included in your registration fee. We will be leaving from the Orange Lantern 15 Firehouse Lane Paramus at 12pm and returning to the same location by 1:30pm we are also using the Lord and Taylor parking lot across the street. The ride will be a scenic fully escorted ride to Bear Mountain and back. There are 2 live bands, pig roast, bbq, hot dog cart, hot pretzels, popcorn, funnelcakes, Miller drink specials, car show, giveaways, trophies, Gift Certificates, 5 minute massages, and so much more. A big thanks to Kosco our Harley Davidson sponsor. All cars and bikes invited!

Come for a day of excitement and entertainment and a scenic ride for a good cause. Please register now by calling Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738 to request a mailed packet or email at for an emailed copy and we will email our address with the registration form. Our co chairs are Lori Latteri and Jessie Zacche. The ride/car show will be $15 rider $10 passenger for bikes or cars that register by May 31st  and day of will be $20 rider and $15 passenger. Wrist bands will be sold for $10 if you don't want to ride and don't have a car to show but want to hang out and celebrate our run.

Putting the Pieces Together Honored by NJ Freeholders

Our organization was honored at a recent Bergen County Freeholders meeting thanks to Freeholder Walton. Please watch for the cable broadcast in your area it was an Honor and a pleasure to attend their meeting and accept the award. We are so lucky to have our Bergen County Assemblymen, Sheriff Freeholders and local politicians in our corner.

Click Here to Listen to the Freeholders Meeting Speech
- Fast forward about 1:00 to hear about us


We would like to thank the many wonderful people that were responsible for making our First Walk a huge success. With over 500 walkers we far exceeded our expectations. It was both emotional and exciting and a day our org will never forget. It was a magical moment for our children and every child that attended with so much to do and all free.

Our walk benefiting the children already diagnosed will take place on Saturday, April 25th with a rain date of Sunday, April 26th. Our walk will start at the North Arlington Borough Hall 214 Ridge Road North Arlington in the parking lot and will end at Ripp Collins Field River Road North Arlington with a resource fair and carnival. Check in time is 10am and the walk will start at 12pm. There will be live entertainment, snacks, a resource fair and things for the children to do.

We are looking for walkers to start a team and get sponsors the first 100 individuals to register and collect $100 or more will get a shirt free. Lauren Ryan and Tara Banuls are our co chairs and have worked hard to ensure a very successful and fun filled walk.

We are also looking for Corporate Sponsors see link below to find out price levels and what you get for your sponsorship. You will find that you get a lot of advertisement for a lot less. We will have special performances also the day will be incredible so please join us register early to get your walk kit and start and start your team make a goal and try and achieve that goal. It’s for a good cause our children.


All interesed in walking on April 25 should come to our pre registration tea. Refreshments will be served while our co chair and the local Girl Scouts explain the walk day of events. You will register your team or yourself and get your packets that day. Many valuable pieces of information to share to make your walk team successful.

This Sunday February 22nd 3pm Senior Building 214 Ridge Road North Arlington in the Borough Hall Parking Lot please come children welcome and please Walk so we can continue to give children with Different Needs Choices!


We would like to thank SIMS Metal Management for their generous donation as a corporate sponsor in our upcoming Hearts 4 Autism Walk in April. We would like to thank them for always supporting us and our mission to give children with different needs the choices they deserve. Please visit their website for more information about this wonderful corporation.


Our very own SPARKS Cheer Dance Squad had the honor of meeting and hanging with the Nets Dancers at the Nets private gym recently. The girls did  warm ups with the dancers and performed our routine for them and then watched the Nets Dancers perform their routine and they were star struck! Thanks to the Nets Dancers for making our girls feel incredible. They gave them autographed pictures, tee shirts and more important gave them something they won't soon forget! What a memorable night for all.

click on photo for larger imageSparks and Nets Cheerleaders


Please join our Special Angels "Shooting Stars" as they play members of the Lyndhurst Police Dept on March 21, 2009 at Lyndhurst High School  starting at 6:30pm. Special guests will include Sly the Nets Basketball Mascot. Mayor Di Lascio and Paul Passamano will be playing on the children's team. Tickets are $5.00 per person and there will be refreshments and an ad journal for any business that would like to advertise. For more information please contact Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738.


CAPE Program

We have been asked by the Bergen County Special Services to share an office space in Paramus 2 days a week at their CAPE Program a one stop shop for autism this is a very big honor for us. We will have the opportunity to get more help for our parents and more connections to speaker meetings and the opportunity to use their facility to host speaker meetings and workshops. I would like to thank the BCSS for their confidence in our programs and for feeling that our organization is capable of providing quality services for children affected by autism and other different needs.

Click here for more information on the CAPE Program

We started our Cheer/Dance Program, our Exceptional Dance Program and Social Skills Groups (there are 3). We are in the process of starting adaptive Tennis, Life Skills Group, Karate and more.

We have hosted many wonderful and informative speaker meetings to educate our parents and we are very proud of our Hinkle Finkle and Prior 4 part series taking place in December and January. We are lucky to have Erica Goodman working with our parents teaching them how to get therapies including ABA covered by our insurance companies and we have many wonderful speaker meetings coming up check our calendar at password sports to find out what is coming up next.

Our upcoming Motorcycle Run in May and our Walk in April are very exciting please contact Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738 for more information.



Putting the Pieces Together is proud to host an evening
with Dr. Barbara Firestone President, CEO and Founder of
The Help Group, the largest and most comprehensive
non-profit organization of its kind in the U.S. Dr Firestone will
be speaking about her new book Autism Heroes: Portraits of Families Meeting the Challenge on Monday, November 12th 2007 at 6:30pm at the North Arlington High School Auditorium 222 Ridge Road North Arlington.

Dr. Firestone is widely recognized for her leadership, vision
and innovation in the autistic community and was appointed Vice Chair of the newly established California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism. She recently spearheaded the effort to launch The Help Group National Autism Foundation
and collaborated with UCLA Semel Institute to create The Help Group - UCLA Autism Research Alliance. At State and National levels Dr. Firestone is committed to promoting autism awareness, early identification, intervention and the
expansion of education treatment and opportunities for children, adolescents and young adults.

In her book, Dr. Firestone provides a compelling and sensitive account of the experiences of families from different walks of life. Even celebrities normally protective of their personal lives, open-up on this difficult subject to inspire others just beginning the journey. Actor Gary Cole and his wife Teddi vividly remember the day when the word autism came into their lives: “The doctor said, ‘I need you to know that I’m leaning toward autism.’ And our brains just stopped.’” Several other
well-known celebrities include John Schneider and Joe Mantegna among others.

The stunning black-and-white photographs of Joe Buissink perfectly complement the intimate testimony of these
families. A regular contributor to In Style magazine, Buissink’s
award-winning work also appears in People, American Photo, Gourmet, LA Times, LA Weekly and Los Angeles Magazine. Kelsey and Camille Grammer, Susanne Daniels of Lifetime Entertainment and Amy Brennena of Judging Amy and NYPD Blue are a few of her circle of friends and she has been featured on ABC, Larry King and other TV shows.

This is a must attend night for anyone that knows someone affected by autism or someone that is a special needs educator. For more information about Dr. Firestone please go
to and for more information on this limited seating event please call Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738. Copies of her book will be available for purchase and book signing will take place after her question and answer segment of the evening.


Putting the Pieces Together and Special Angels Recreation are proud to announce a new program they are offering. “SPARKS” which stands for Special Angels Recreation Kids is the first ever cheer/dance squad that will be showcased at competitions and professional sports half times on New Jersey.

Registration is being held on Thursday,
November 8th at 7:30pm LaSalle Center 200 Ridge Road North Arlington, between Dunkin Doughnuts and Queen of Peace Church side ramp entrance. Girls between the ages of 8 and 18 will be practicing on Monday evenings between 6pm and 7:30pm in Lyndhurst more information will be given at registration. The fee for registration is $40.00 which will help pay for the cost of the custom cheer/dance uniforms.
Please download the registration form and flyer below.

Sparks Flyer Sparks Reg Form

Any questions concerning the league you may ask at registration or call Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738.

PTPT’s First Annual Tricky Tray

Putting the Pieces Together is planning our first annual tricky tray on Wednesday April 16th, 2008 at San Carlo Restaurant Stuyvesant Avenue Lyndhurst. Doors will open at 5:30pm and the full buffet dinner with carving station will be served at 7:00pm and tickets will be drawn at 8:45pm. Our committee
is working hard to assure this to be the finest quality tricky tray with great gifts and fine dining. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them by either stopping into the LaSalle Center 200 Ridge Rd North Arlington any Thursday night from7:00 pm to 9:30 pm or by calling Debbie or Tara at
201-966-8738 or Lori Panico at 973-980-3988. Anyone interested in donating either a basket, Gift Certificate, monetary donation to purchase supplies and larger gifts or a prize should call the above numbers or stop by the above address on Thursday evenings. Proceeds will directly affect
our children in the support group and recreation league.


Debbie Wertalik, Assemblyman Schaer and Jenifer Langer from Amerigroup

Putting the Pieces Together Support Group has been together since July 7, 2005 and has since tripled in size. Membership has grown in the support group but more importantly membership in the recreation league has doubled in size reaching a year round total of over 100 children playing sports.

In a recent ceremony at Volunteer Stadium in Lyndhurst Assemblyman Schaer honored the group and along with Amerigroup presented them with the Champions of Children Grant. Assemblyman Schaer, an advocate and bill writer for autism, was very impressed by what he saw at the field. There were children running and laughing, families video taping and snapping pictures and just enjoying the day on the field. “They forget about their daily challenges and just come here to celebrate their children,” says Wertalik. The support group educates and supports families affected by autism with speaker meetings and workshops and enhances the lives of the children by offering appropriate sports leagues and leisure activities.

This is the first grant presented to the group but not the only time this group was honored this week. A few days after the presentation at a Lyndhurst Revenue Meeting the group was praised by Mayor Di Lascio, Assemblymen Schaer and Scalera and Senator Sarlo for their dedication to the autistic community. This group has come a long way in a short time and I believe it will continue to grow as there is a growing need for services for children with special needs. “We are the baby boomers of autism and until there is a cure the need for these services will grow. We need to work together to ensure that our children have a chance to give back to society by getting quality education and extra therapy along with recreation programs to help foster their fine and gross motor skills and socialization skills.” says Wertalik.

The group is always open to new members if you are affected by autism and would like to check out the group you can email them at You can check out their websites at
password sports. The group meets every Thursday at 7pm at the LaSalle Center, 200 Ridge Road, North Arlington.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the sports leagues or donate their time to the group in any way please contact Debbie or Tara at 201-966-8738

North Arlington and Lyndhurst Fire Depts. v.
Special Angels Recreation parents. Softball for Autism

We won 16 to 9 it was incredible. Marcia and Tara were
great coaches and everyone worked hard to win. I couldn't
do without Lisa and her friend Lauren they helped out in the hottest announcers booth ever. Our team was the best they
all worked hard and came through and our volunteers Judy, Jill and Mike, Jen W, Jen B, Colleen, Jim, Wayne, Sal, Adam, Sharon, John and his friend, Tori, Katelyn, Kim, and all the others that helped we couldn't have done without.

We won in more ways then one because we managed to spread autism awareness to more then 160 people. The American Legion was there to present colors as Anmarie sang the National Anthem Mayor DiLascio spoke and I spoke and then we played ball. Lori was in charge of playing games with the spectators in-between each inning and gave away prizes donated by Z100 and Q104.3 ( Kat Deluna autographed tee shirt Plain White T autographed shirt, 3 cds and the first season of JAG to name a few prizes we gave away) and a wonderful women Lynda McQue donated boxes of Clyde a stuffed animal in a baseball cap. We had a TV interview and 3 newspapers there. Sheriff Leo McGuire made a wonderful speech about autism and the weather held out though the doppler had me on pins and needles. Wayne took pictures for us and Campbell got a Sheriff's pin from Sheriff Mc Guire. Also some of Special Angels children got to take a picture with the Sheriff. There were zeppoli's soda funnel cakes pins water bottles stuffed animals shirts hot pretzels popcorn hot dogs Lyndhurst Pastry chocolate and lemon Italian Ice 50/50's ($345 was won and a good time. Thanks to John J as always he helped us out by donating hot dogs and his time. Thanks to Mayor DiLascio, Tom Di Maggio Paul Passamano Steve Tanelli and Al Granell for there support and thanks to the NAFD and LFD for their support.

Thank you to everyone that helped out and to all of our players. If you were there thank you for coming and if you couldn't make it I wish you were there.


Our own Lisa Jedrejczyk and Tara Banuls are designing a house flag for autism and PTPT we are very excited and when their project is completed you will be able to purchase a flag and hang it proudly outside your front door.

Tara Banuls just completed her second year of co chairing the NNJ Walk for Autism Speaks and the walk raised over $400,000.00 for autism research.

Two of our members Gene Wojna was just elected to the Carlstadt BOE and Sharon Granell was just elected to the North Arlington BOE.

We are planning our very first walk details TBA it will take place in 2008.

We are very excited to announce the Eagle Scouts of North Arlington are in the process of planning a afternoon of camping for our children.

Wayne Bardowell and Deborah Wertalik will be working on a video to show the upside of autism and showcase our parents at their proudest and our children at their best. We will be interviewing our active support group parents and children. This will be the first video that I know of that will be a positive and upbeat video on autism.

Deborah Wertalik will be meeting with Senator Sarlo Assemblymen Schaer and Scalera and Congressman Rothman in the near future appointments are already confirmed to discuss the future of our children and to make sure when our children reach the age of 21 there will be options for them to choose from.


Our org is very proud of our art show. The NJMC Flyway Gallery has allowed us to have a month out of a year to hang our children’s art work on the gallery walls for anyone who visits the NJMC to see. This is an incredible opportunity for our children. We have a dessert reception and people come to honor the children and see their artwork. The art show gets press attention and our children feel very important. This is a free event to all that come to enjoy fine art and good desserts and coffee. We invite everyone from the Governor to local political figures so we can show the people that can make a difference in our children’s lives what our children are capable of.

We then hold an auction at a fine dining establishment with a DJ that donates his time to dazzle us with his fine choice of music. The art pieces are displayed, bidding paddles are handed out, the room is filled with people with kind hearts and we are surrounded by great food. I still remember our first of several art auctions and it was magical. Senator Sarlo & Weinberg spoke and brought tears to our eyes with their wonderful words of hope. On hand was Lyndhurst's Mayor DiLascio and his wife, the NAFD sent Robert Mulbacher and Robert Kairys to bid on a canvas of their Blue Fire Truck, North Arlington's Mayor Massa and his wife along with Councilmen Tanelli and Granell attended, North Arlington's newly elected BOE member Sharon Granell was there and lots of parents family and friends. As the pieces were auctioned off to the highest bidder you could see the proud parents tearfully feeling what every parent wants to feel. There was a DVD playing through the night of our children playing sports and having a great time at different events and you could see the guests amazed by our children and their abilities. Autism awareness is very important and that is why PTPT will continue to have events like this and our art show and action will be an annual event that I hope will continue to grow each year.


PTPT sponsors many educational workshops to help parents reinforce the therapies the children receive in school and to know their rights. The only weapon we have against autism is education so we have armed ourselves to the fullest. We have completed a 5 part workshop that included behavior, communication, socialization in the community, eating habits and potty training. We have had many teachers, doctors and professionals and will be branching off to law making. SPAN offers a workshop "There Ought to be a Law" & "Civil Rights" which we will be offering in the future. We will also have training in ABA, Conflict Resolution (how to go to mediation and due process) advocacy and more. We are proud of the education we have offered our parents and other parents as our workshops and training programs are offered to anyone that loves a child on the spectrum.


is sponsoring an art show at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission in Lyndhurst in 2007 so the people that visit the center can see the wonderful things our children are capable of. The art show will be showcased in March 2007 for the entire month and will include art work from the children associated
with our support group. We will be getting some help from
SBJC art teacher Ms Roberta and our support group will collect the 11 by 14 pieces and mount them at a weekly meeting and
then hang the collection March 2nd. The art show will be seen from March 3rd with a reception for the young artists and their families on March 4th and will continue through March 30th with our support group removing the pieces on the 31st. Please visit
our art show in March and enjoy compliments of Putting the Pieces Together.



would like to thank the Williams Center in Rutherford for caring about our children. Each month the Williams Center offers our children a new release movie with unlimited popcorn and soda in our own private theater. Parents, family and friends fill the theater and enjoy a day out with their children in a relaxed atmosphere without being nervous that the children will not act appropriately. Most of us would not have attempted a movie but with the Williams Center and their wonderful staff we have been going to the movies each month and leaving with a smile. We look forward to continuing this outing for as long as the theater will have us. Thanks to the Williams Center our children and their families have seen some great movies.



Putting the Pieces Together Support Group helped the Girl Scouts in Lyndhurst earn their Bronze Award by attending art classes at their troop meetings during the months of January and February. Our support group supplied the art projects and the Girl Scouts supplied the refreshments and helped the children do a different craft each week for 5 weeks. The sixth week we had a party to celebrate. Thanks to these wonderful girls our children had a great 6 weeks and I think the girls fell in love with our children and our children fell in love with the girls. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I would also like to add that Tori Banarskas of the Girl Scout Troop grew such a bond with Tyler that she chose to enter a Dr. Seuss contest. One of Tyler's favorite books is Green Eggs and Ham so Tori wrote a beautiful story which was chose and appeared in the Record for the anniversary of Dr. Seuss. Tori didn't tell us but surprised us with her attendance at the NNJ Autism Speaks Walk and gave us a copy of the newspaper. She also brought her parents and they raised funds and walk for a cure.

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