White-Sutton syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by delayed psychomotor development apparent in infancy. It causes intellectual disability, specific facial features, and other signs and symptoms affecting various parts of the body. Most affected individuals have features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a varied condition characterized by impaired social skills, communication problems, and repetitive behaviors. However, in White-Sutton syndrome these features can occur along with other characteristics that are unusual in people with ASD, such as an overly friendly demeanor. People with White-Sutton syndrome have delayed development, with speech and language usually being more delayed than motor skills such as walking. Intellectual disability can range from borderline normal to severe.
Most people with White-Sutton syndrome have mild abnormalities of the head and face, which can include an unusually small head (microcephaly); a wide, short skull (brachycephaly); wide-set eyes (hypertelorism); a flat or sunken appearance of the middle of the face (midface hypoplasia); and a small mouth with a thin upper lip.
A wide variety of additional signs and symptoms can occur with White-Sutton syndrome. Among the more common are hyperactivity; sleeping difficulties; vision defects, especially farsightedness; gastrointestinal problems; obesity; and short stature. Some individuals with White-Sutton syndrome are born with a hole in the muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest cavity (the diaphragm), which is called a diaphragmatic hernia.