Man with Asperger syndrome invents educational board game that encourages wholesome family interaction.
It may be the ultimate irony that Anthony Tinervia Jr.’s new educational board game, Keys to the Capitals, keeps players entertained and interacting with one another for hours. That’s because Tinervia struggles with Asperger syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder). Such social interactions don’t come easily for him. So, it’s a huge victory for him to see families setting aside their electronic devices in favor of playing his game several times a week.
And while the game has received glowing reviews since its debut last year, Tinervia’s personal story of triumph over life-long challenges, and success at a life stage when others are winding down their careers, are truly inspirational.
Suitable for ages seven through adult, Keys to the Capitals players race across the USA, and memorize state capitals, flags and U.S. geography using player Key Cards and fun dice that change the mood with every roll. In addition to information retention, the game helps children develop critical thinking skills and inspires their imaginations.
“Some reports state that fewer than 50 percent of adults can name all the U.S. states,” comments Tinervia. “This is a fun way for everyone in the family to improve their knowledge.”
He recalls, “I tested the (prototype) game with lots of different families, and everyone agreed how much fun it was. One of the main comments was how it brought the family together for quality fun time.”
The game sells for $19.99 plus tax and shipping on KeystotheCapitals.com and on Amazon. Tinervia donates a portion of his proceeds to the nonprofit organization, Autism Speaks.
Tinervia has accomplished a huge feat: bringing Keys to the Capitals to market and becoming a preferred seller on Amazon.com. Tinervia’s autism was undiagnosed until 2015, when he was in his 50s. He held a series of low-paying jobs for most of his life, retiring in 2010 to care for his aging parents. Although his father has passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, Tinervia remains his mother’s full-time caregiver.
Tinervia spent much of his youth watching a lot of TV, and inventing games in his mind and on paper. “During my early adulthood, I used my baseball and football fantasy play to escape reality. I played for hours in my room without my family’s knowledge. This went on for years. I thought someday these games I played in my mind and on notebooks could be board games.”