While literal level thinking in general, can be a strong skill in students with ASD, it will be necessary to support students’ understanding of expectations for how to respond to different summarizing tasks.
Sentence frames can support this work in the language arts classroom. Providing learners with a way to organize their thoughts is not “giving them the answer.” Rather, it is setting them up for success, because it provides them a means through which to communicate their response about (their comprehension of) the text.
One of the most comprehensive sets of “Summary Frames” that I have found is the following: http://carsplus.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Summary-Frames-are-Powerful-Tools-for-Teaching-Independent-Reading-Thinking-and-Writing.pdf
A summary frame/template:
- Guides students’ processing of new learning.
- Provides a template of teacher expectations.
- Provides “road signs” to help the student determine if they are performing to expectations.
- Explicitly teaches various types of thinking and comprehension.
This is why sentence frames are helpful in supporting the thinking about text with students with ASD.