And there is the crux of the problem with many disabilities – unless people can see something obvious (like a wheelchair for instance) then people don't accept it.
My son is 22. He's over 6 foot tall and dresses in combats and hoody type clothes. If you saw him walking down the street you'd probably imagine him to be just another moody youngster, and you may even be worried by his appearance. But inside there is someone suffering from very difficult to deal with conditions and someone who is constantly terrified by the simplest of things. Someone who suffers from something called selective mutism and so can't actually talk to people. Someone who might even appear arrogant in his lack of communication with the world, but simply can't. Someone for whom actually going outside to walk anywhere is a stressful and difficult thing to achieve.
Of course there are many other disabilities where the people can converse but due to their condition may wrongly appear 'a bit simple'. Normally they are far from simple, they merely think about things and process information in a slightly different way that YOU don't understand. There are so many different 'hidden' disabilities that present in so many different ways, and there are probably people suffering from all of these walking down your street, anonymously, but waiting to be in some way abused.
I've mentioned before how my mother has been working in centres for people with mental disabilities for many years so being around people who are different is something I got used to but when it's your own flesh and blood it's different. You see you have to deal with the comments and insults. I grew up well aware of people's intolerance and could give so many examples but one sticks in the mind more than most. One of my mother's trainees (the term used then) had very little experience of going out so part of my mother's job was to help him get into the habit. He found it very difficult and especially found making choices in shops difficult. I clearly remember going out to town with them (as I often did) and we were in a newsagents. He wanted a chocolate bar but was having trouble deciding between two. This was a real dilemma for him but rather than just being patient the shop keeper started getting angry and told him in no uncertain terms to hurry up. It's true that we'd been stood in front of the chocolates for a few minutes but on the flip side it's also true that we were the only people in the shop the whole time so we weren't holding anyone up or anything. Well my mother's trainee got very stressed and we had to leave the shop, followed by a torrent of abuse. It was months before he could go to the shops again.
I was amazed and shocked by what happened and was even more shocked that my mother said it happened quite often.
These days, on the rare occasions my son goes out, I see it all the time. The tutting, the comments that we're not supposed to hear, the looks. All of them in effect saying he's being ignorant. And all of them fully understood by my son, each one making it more and more difficult for him.
Next time someone doesn't react exactly the way you expect them to don't automatically think they're being ignorant. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of ignorant people around but there are also one hell of a lot of people that need that little extra help and understanding. Don't assume, but please do bear in mind that the person you're dealing with may just be wired differently and think differently.
And always remember that it's only because they are the minority that the way you think is considered normal.