Worster-Drought syndrome is a non-progressive condition. The signs and symptoms include difficulties with voluntary lip, tongue, and palate movements. Sometimes there are changes to the shape of the jaw and tooth alignment, so that dental care is important.
The first indication of the condition is usually when the baby has difficulties with feeding; those most severely affected have sucking difficulties and may require tube feeding for several months. Problems with chewing and swallowing can occur when solid foods are introduced, which may lead to inhalation of food. These difficulties may gradually improve over the first two to three years, but may also persist for many years. Dribbling is very common, but may show steady improvement during childhood. There is also severe speech delay (see entry Speech and Language Impairment). As a result of the swallowing problems, middle ear infections can be quite frequent, and may cause conductive hearing loss. A mild delay in walking and running with clumsiness of the hands with mild spasticity (stiffness) are common. Most children have mild or moderate learning and behaviour difficulties (see entry Learning Disability), which may include hyperactivity and autism spectrum disorder. In a significant minority, epilepsy can also occur.