This study was designed to measure motivation for and expectations of proposed orthodontic treatment for disabled children, and to examine the level of satisfaction with the results of this treatment, in the eyes of the parents. A two-part questionnaire was sent to the parents of consecutively treated disabled children. The first part was sent to the parents of all the patients treated, while the second was only sent to those whose child had completed treatment. The response rate was over 90 per cent. The parents expected improvement in the child's appearance with a concomitant improvement in his/her social acceptance. These expectations from the treatment were found to be exaggerated, with only a minority of the parents claiming a marked improvement in their child's everyday functioning (four out of 27), or a significant social improvement (six out of 27). Nevertheless, most of the parents (26 out of 27) were satisfied with the treatment, and reported that 17 of the children themselves, who were aware of a change, considered it an improvement. A majority of the children understood the reasons for treatment, in the most general of terms. Close friends regarded treatment results as positive (20 out of 27). With only one exception, the parents stated that they would repeat the procedure, given the same set of circumstances, and all of them would recommend it for other disabled children. It may be concluded that even though orthodontic treatment in this group of patients does not yield the desired social influence, the individual benefits from the treatment are worthwhile.