Autosomal dominant mutations of DYNC1H1 cause a range of neurogenetic diseases, including mental retardation with cortical malformations, hereditary spastic paraplegia and spinal muscular atrophy. Using SNP array, linkage analysis and next generation sequencing, we identified two families and one isolated proband sharing a known spinal muscular atrophy, lower extremity predominant (SMALED) causing mutation DYNC1H1 c.1792C>T, p.Arg598Cys, and another family harbouring a c.2327C>T, p.Pro776Leu mutation. Here, we present a detailed clinical and pathological examination of these patients, and show that patients with DYNC1H1 mutations may present with a phenotype mimicking a congenital myopathy. We also highlight features that increase the phenotypic overlap with BICD2, which causes SMALED2. Serial muscle biopsies were available for several patients, spanning from infancy and early childhood to middle age. These provide a unique insight into the developmental and pathological origins of SMALED, suggesting in utero denervation with reinnervation by surrounding intact motor neurons and segmental anterior horn cell deficits. We characterise biopsy features that may make diagnosis of this condition easier in the future.