Just a year ago, Chase Faulingham could barely speak, but last week a few choice words from the five-year-old boy helped rescue an injured man.

Chase and his grandfather, Thomas Murray, were out for a walk late Thursday afternoon in Dartmouth, N.S, when Chase heard a noise.

"He said 'stop,' so we stopped (and) I didn't hear anything," Murray told CTV Atlantic.

"So, we took a couple of steps forward: 'No Poppa Jim. Listen. Listen. Help.'"

That's when Murray also heard the faint cry for help. The recent series of snowstorms in Maritimes had left behind massive piles of snow, making it difficult to see a semi-conscious injured man lying on a sidewalk behind a snowbank.

"He wasn't in sight when we were walking down the road, so he must have fell (and) tripped … before," said Murray.

The pair climbed up the bank and called an ambulance.

Police have confirmed the incident took place, but haven't released any further information about the man or his condition.

Faulingham's heroic actions speak volumes about the boy's growth over the past year.

Chase has autism, and has had limited verbal communication in the past.

"A year ago, he could barely talk, maybe (he would) string two or three words together," said his mother, Jamie Mackinnon.

"There was a lot of non-verbal communication," she added.

But after participating in some special clinics at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Faulingham’s verbal skills have improved.

To see how far he has progressed has made his mother proud.

"People, when they see a special needs child, seem to put limits on him, and it just goes to show … that he's a healthy little five-year-old boy," Mackinnon said.

With a report from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw