The following is a wonderful response to a post on a forum I read from a Mom on the other side of the world to a Mom in the U.S. (This is used with permission) The response came after the Mom in the U.S. was so hurt after showing her friend the new Cochlear Implant her daughter would soon be receiving. The friend thought it was disgusting and awkward and said she wouldn't get that for her child.
My son is 6 yrs old and had his implant 4 year ago. We are Egyptians. It is much worse here tolerance-wise. Disability is not just a thing that gets silly remarks and looks of pity or disgust, it is something that people feel ashamed of and tend to hide, something that is simply not tolerated.
We are doing well. My son is the happiest boy I've ever known. He's smart, funny, happy and naughty in so many ways, and I will choose him one million times without thinking. I'm proud of him and I would go all the way to give him the best I can afford. That is the kind of thing I say to myself every time I'm faced with a look that I don't like or a word that makes me unhappy. That is what you should tell yourself.
For that lady friend of yours, well, my first response was to hate her, then I realized that she is simply ignorant as you described her. What does she know? She wasn't lucky enough to have a girl like yours or a boy like mine. See, for people with "ordinary" kids, they get happy for the first few week of their kid's babbling. The first word is celebrated like crazy. Second word the flame is less. Third word is celebrated just by clapping, then a smile. Then the whole thing becomes routine, an every day event.
For you, WOW, it will be different. Every new word is a party time. When she starts putting two words together you feel tall and strong. When her sentence is a three word phrase you feel like you can do anything you set your mind on, and when she starts repeating a nursery rhyme, you know that she can do whatever she sets her mind to. You feel her strength.
And I won't start talking about your feelings when she starts learning a second language, or that smile you will have a hard fight to hide when she says a "bad word" or the debates that you wish would never end. So many moments I don't think there is an end to it.
My friend, you'll have so much fun, you'll forget all the hard days and the doctor visits and the long hours of speech therapy and the appointments and the expensive spare parts. All you need is the trust that you and your daughter are "doing well". As for that lady, just let it go. You can't afford any negative energy. You need all the positive energy you can have and you won't have time for her. Have fun. Sure you will.