I taught children with special needs for several years. I had some in my class that were unable to grasp the meaning or recognize what various numerals represented. To overcome this we used real objects, tangible and those that could be held in the hand, experienced by all of the senses of touch and the shapes. It did help in many instances and some of my kids were able to advance to higher levels in math. This problem does not prevent some people from becoming great artists, scientists, inventors, and contributing to all of humanity. We should never give up and keep trying. I was handicapped as a child and often reversed my letters and numbers. I struggled and overcame. I now have four degrees and taught school for more than twenty-five years. May God bless you.