A Salem toddler was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just two years old. One of the symptoms was speech delay but he has found another way to communicate.
When it comes to expressing himself, 3-year-old Ocean Scott may not be able to use his words yet, but he sure knows how to paint a picture.
While it's a form of therapy for the toddler, his artwork is going for thousands.
The artwork is bold and bright, which is a stark contrast from a year ago when Ocean was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and it felt like a dark time for his family.
"And I had a day of falling apart and immediately had to pull myself back together because I had to learn how to keep him alive," said April Sandvig, Ocean's mom.
For Sandvig, the disease means six shots a day for her son and constant care. She says it also causes speech delay.
"The language stopped progressing and then anything he had really learned was gone," said Sandvig.
But one day she noticed how things started to turn around.
"We had paint around because I painted," Sandvig said.
Instead of talking, she watched Ocean grab a brush and start painting. Using any color he could find, and even rolling around toy trains as a tool.
"His style is very unique and each piece is really different," said Sandvig.
Sandvig is now selling his works of art online with part of the proceeds going toward a diabetic alert dog for Ocean.
"I like it because it's his time and his thing. It's like him feeling like he needs to do this so he's doing this," said Sandvig.
And with each picture its own special piece, Sandvig says her son doesn't need to talk just yet, he's found the perfect way to communicate.
Proceeds from Ocean's artwork also goes toward a charity working to help children with diabetes.
If you would like to take a look at Ocean's paintings, visit oceansart.org.
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