An assumption commonly found in the literature on parents of children with disabilities is that discrepancies between their perceptions of their children and their ‘ideal’ children are greater than those of parents whose children are nondisabled. Another assumption relates to their parenting experiences, which have been regarded as being different to that reported by parents of children without disabilities. Given that there is little empirical evidence to support these assumptions, a comparison of 58 mother-father dyads of children with intellectual disabilities and 24 mother-father dyads of children who did not have disabilities was undertaken. The findings of the present study revealed that parents of children with disabilities (a) perceived significantly greater discrepancies between their children and their ideal children, (b) perceived significantly greater limitations on their family, (c) reported significantly more worries concerning their children's development, (d) reported significantly more frequent disappointment in relation to their children's development, and (e) reported significantly greater impairment in emotional and physical well-being. In contrast, there were no significant differences in levels of reported happiness in parenting their children during the previous year. Furthermore, there were nonsignificant differences in the perceptions held by mothers and fathers. The findings have relevance to both counselling and service provision.