How much do epigenetic components, mere accidents of circumstance, parenting styles, and other peoples expectations feed into chronic states of health, not least when you are autistic and have been entrained, all your life, to adhere to behaviours that fail to meet the preferences, abilities or sensitivities of your neurotype? Is chronic illness a form of demand avoidance that takes shape in the autistic body when it refuses to continue being ignored as before?
A non-verbal communication style might not mean the complete absence of speech but that it is not, by any means, the default approach to conducting relationships and many people on the spctrum use actions and gesture, as well as writen communications, to convey most of what they really have to say to others. When it comes to kindly gestures, if there is a need and we can somehow fill it because we have the means or can find the missing puzzle piece, we simply bring those two things together because its obvious and we do this because we are innately well-meaning and without guile. The fact we treat it somewhat like putting a male plug with a female socket does not take the humanity out of it; as in, our logical approach does not negate the deep and often hard-for-us-to-express feelings that bottle-up deep inside when our efforts at communication go unnoticed, unwanted or "unheard". Loneliness, wounding and unfulfillment regarding friendships is a very big factor in autism, perhaps even more so for adult females on the spectrum and the wound can run very deep indeed, year on year, when our unique offerings to the world are treated as no more than the transactional deeds of neurotypicality when, really, we are speaking outloud and as eloquently as we can via them (or, at least, the best way we know how).