Purpose We aimed to identify the phenotypic variability of IGF1R defects in a cohort of short children with normal GH secretion gathered through the last decade. Patients and methods Fifty children (25 girls) with short stature and a basal/stimulated growth hormone (GH) over 10 ng/ml having either a low birth weight or microcephaly were enrolled. MLPA and then Sanger sequence analysis were performed to detect IGF1R defects. The auxological and metabolic evaluation were carried out in index cases and their first degree family members whenever available. Results A total of seven (14%) IGF1R defects were detected. Two IGF1R deletions and five heterozygous variants (one frameshift, four missense) were identified. Three (likely) pathogenic, one VUS and one likely benign were classified by using ACMG. All children with IGF1R defects had a height < - 2.5SDS, birth weight < - 1.4SDS, and head circumference < - 1.36SDS. IGF-1 ranged from - 2.44 to 2.13 SDS. One child with a 15q terminal deletion had a normal phenotype and intelligence, whereas low IQ is a finding in a case with missense variant. Two parents who carried IGF1R mutations had diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, one of whom also had hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. Conclusion We found a deletion or variant in IGF1R in 14% of short children. Birth weight, head circumference, intelligence, dysmorphic features, IGF-1 levels and even height are not consistent among patients. Additionally, metabolic and gonadal complications may appear during adulthood, suggesting that patients should be followed into adulthood to monitor for these late complications.