Story Maps for Fiction Stories
For a fiction story, you can give the student information about the characters, setting, some events from the story, etc. You might use a visual support like this story map (you don't have to give away the ending, you can leave this for the student to fill out at the end.) One option is to look at any pictures in the story of the characters, places, and events and write or draw them in the story map.
Before reading a non-fiction text, you can give the student a brief summary of the facts that will be presented in the text. You can do this as a list, possibly with corresponding pictures to act as a visual cue for the facts. Read and discuss the facts with your student right before reading. There is some research to indicate that these types of previewing (for fiction and non-fiction stories) can help improve comprehension for students with autism.
This works particularly well when you're reading a book about characters in a movie or show. As an example, I use Star Wars books with some of my students. Before we read a story, we'll often watch a clip of that part of the movie.
If there are words in a story or reading passage that you think your student doesn't know, make sure to teach them before reading. This worksheet is one example of how to do that. You can also use pictures, flashcards, objects, videos, etc.