Michael Cornell, the creator of Shape Math®, wanted a way for dyslexics like himself to use their advantages to compensate for their difficulty in math. He developed a program that uses dyslexic visual mechanical acuity, dyslexic kinesthetic awareness and put it into a highly visual format.  He was inspired by Japanese mental abacus which is a process where Japanese students use an abacus to the point of being so proficient that they could do the calculations by imagining the abacus.  After attempting to adjust an Abacus for dyslexic use, he discovered a better tactic was to start over.  The better approach was to make shapes that fit together in logical patterns.  Shape Math®, like Japanese mental abacus, can be done mentally and is easier for dyslexics than the abacus technique.