Dr. Robert Naseef, a psychologist whose son, Tariq, has a more involved form of autism (he never talks) writes in his book Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child with Disabilities,
“Tariq’s gifts to me were not in packages, but, rather, they have continued to unfold and develop over time. Like a tree, they have sunk roots and grown inside me. Tariq has taught me the meaning of unconditional love. I have learned to honor his sacred right to be loved for who he is. My attachment to his achievements dissolved over time. This was hard to let go in our world driven by appearance and money. Tariq has made good progress. He will probably go to a sheltered workshop after his graduation.” (P. 255)
Information on the book from the Publisher: http://www.brookespublishing.com/store/books/naseef-5354/index.htm
Dr. Naseef also has a web-based Special Families Guide: www.specialfamilies.com
Another book from the other point of view- that of adults with disabilities in regard to their parents: Reflections from a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Wish All Parents Knew, edited by Stanley D, Kllein, Ph.D., and John D. Kemp. McGraw-Hill, 2004. See http://specialchildren.about.com/od/gettingadiagnosis/gr/journey.htm
This post is a reprint, with revisions and additions, from March 2007.