The PBIS World Book

Somatic Complaints

IMPORTANT! Please read before implementing:

Before considering implementing any strategies for somatic complaints, it’s imperative to rule out real physiological  causes for suspected somatic coimplaints with a physician. Failure to identify and treat real physiological conditions by a physician can result in serious harm and even death due to misdiagnoses.  Somatic complaints should only be approached as such after consulting with a physician who can rule out real physiological causes, and a physician should continue to be a part of any team addressing somatic complaints even if real physiological compalints have been ruled out in case new symptoms or information come to light that may merit further investigation by a physician.


The student may:

  • Have frequent complaints of body aches (head, stomach, extremities) that have not been shown to have physiological origins
  • Hold stomach, head, arm, etc
  • Appear flushed, red faced, or pale
  • Moan, whine, groan
  • Go to the bathroom to vomit, use bathroom
  • Indigestion or sour stomach after lunch
  • Ask to go home due to not feeling well
  • Ask to see the secretary or nurse for pains or aches
  • Have migraines
  • Develop hives, soars, blotches, or rashes
  • Pass out, become unconscious, dizzy, light headed, or disoriented
  • Require lots of one on one attention
  • Seem needy and overly reliant on others
  • Low level of self initiative, independence, or responsibility
  • Seizures
  • Shaking and tremors
  • Glazed or red eyes
  • Cough and sneeze
  • Limp or favor an extremity