Despite a marked increase in the volume of research investigating issues about reading interventions for students with ASD (e.g., Bailey and Arciuli, Rev J Autism Dev Disord 7(2):127–150, 2020; Chiang and Lin, Focus Autism Other Dev Disab 22(4):259–267, 2007), very few studies have examined the current reading practices experienced by children with ASD in the schools. This mixed-method study reports on the observed reading instruction and reading performance of students (N = 39) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in grades 4–8 (ages 9–14 years.) across two separate geographic regions of the USA. Data collection included systematic observations of tier 1 and tier 2/3 reading instruction. Students were also assessed with standardized measures of word recognition, language, and reading comprehension. The purpose of this investigation was to contribute to the limited corpus of observation research on reading instruction for students with ASD within the context of describing student performance on battery of standardized measures. A total of 168 lesson sessions totaling 7497 min of observed class time were completed and the battery of measures were administered to students. Results of the observations indicated that 44–48% of instructional time across different tiers of instruction were dedicated to comprehension monitoring consisting of answering teacher directed questions. Minimal amounts of time were dedicated to word recognition instruction. According to findings from the assessment battery, approximately 46% of students had below average scores on word recognition and reading comprehension measures. Study findings suggest a mismatch between student needs and the manner in which they were addressed.