Family of real life wonder kid shares inspiring story

PARK CITY (KWCH) Take one look at Salem Mickley's bedroom, and try to guess his favorite animal.

He mimics a roar from one of his favorites, a stuffed lion from one of the "Lion King" films.

"He's obsessed with lions." says his mom, Carmen Mickley.

Just like the lions decorating his room, Salem is all heart.

"It has been a blessing...and it has been some of the worst things that I could've ever expected to happen to me, to us, in the last seven years." says Salem's dad, Ron Mickley.

Salem was born with Apert syndrome. It affects 1 in every 160,000 births. Seven years and 24 surgeries brought him to where he is today - a journey that hasn't always been easy.

"I used to homeschool him, and when we first started this journey I told myself - you know, it was just that fear of how kids treated him." says Carmen. "Just dealing with the shouting, that's an ugly baby from across the store, calling him a monster, running away from him at the park."

Salem and his parents have experienced some of the worst in people.

"It's hard when you see people treating your kid like that...and it's hard to deal with that."

Now, they're hoping for the best.

"We want others to see him the way that we see him..."

They think a new movie could help.

When "Wonder" appeared in theaters over the weekend, the Mickley's made sure to see it.

"It's like we were watching our story on screen."

They hope the films message to "always choose kind" will spread.

"I want everybody to know that these kids are no different...they are no different than any kid that they feel is "normal"' says Ron.

They want everyone to see kids just like Salem as the blessings they are.

"I've had people say that he is so lucky that he has us as parents..and I have to laugh about that, because we are so lucky that he is our son. He's changed everything in our life."

Just like any parents, they want Salem to get the most out of life.

"We want him to be accepted, we want him to be loved."

And for his heart to touch others.