(1) Special teaching can show you how to think mathematically, using parts of your brain that work exceptionally well (like spoken and written language). We must bypass the defective math processing area.
(3) At the most fundamental level, you need to understand the base-ten system used in the USA.
You need to know that we have only 10 digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 8. 9) that are combined to make all of the numbers we use,
just like we have only 26 letters that are combined to make all of our words.
(4) Just like with letters, digit order matters! As pit is different than tip, 124 is different than 421.
You have to be able to explain WHY this is so. Then you will get that it is no shame to triple check that you have the digits in the right order, because it makes a world of difference. It is certainly worth the time and trouble to investigate.
And once you know that you are plenty smart, but that your brain is prone to these types of mistakes, you will be INVESTED in using strategies to eliminate these mistakes. (Opposite of hating math, avoiding it, and expressing hostility toward it.)
(5) You can liken it to a man who is color blind. No amount of cursing, trying, willing, or determining, will make him see colors accurately! After getting laughed at for dressing funny or other embarrassments, he'll make sure he has a friend help him label his clothes by color so he can wash and organize them, and dress appropriately! Maybe he'll ask his friend to write on the labels: blu, blk, red, gre, org, brn... No shame there!
(6) Understand that the math processing center of your brain has a defect that we can't operate on to correct; but we do know that we can use the areas of our brain that work very well, to do some of the work that the damaged area should do. This is a relief because it means that you no longer are expected to try harder, or work longer, to get math!
(7) NOW YOU KNOW THAT YOU MUST WORK AT MATH DIFFERENTLY!
You can't learn math the normal way-- just like a blind person, or deaf person
cannot benefit from typical classroom instruction!
Because their disabilities are visible, everyone knows that they must use different methods
to acquire information, communicate, and navigate life.
Learning disabilities are just as real, and they also require totally DIFFERENT METHODS.
(8) For more on these methods, see: