The admirer puts the disabled person on a pedestal and sees them as someone to be admired for their courage in overcoming a handicap. They are impressed by the way the disabled person copes year after year with their disability and gets on with life so well despite it. They may well seek work with the disabled community and look for ways to genuinely help physically disabled people. Indeed some people working in orthopaedics and orthotics have chosen careers because of their admiration for disabled people. They may well have an interest in things to do with the disability movement and shows an altruistic and concerned interest in the issues of physical disability. Perhaps he helps with charity events, fund raising for polio eradication in the third world, or helping in the local hospital.
The pretender is so attracted to the state of disability that they feel driven to act out the disabled lifestyle in some way, if only occasionally. They may make or buy the accoutrements of physical disability - crutches, leg-braces, a wheelchair - and act out their fantasy of being disabled. Often this is a hidden activity done in the secrecy of the home. The more daring and self-accepting pretender may venture into public places. They may travel far from home to an anonymous city where they are not known, to act out their disabled lifestyle. Being on the receiving end of the curious stare becomes something to be sought. Internally, they feel good about looking and behaving disabled. Sometimes this good feeling is balanced by self-doubt and guilt over their desires to pretend.
For the wannabe the occasional pretence of disability is not enough. They feel the overwhelming need to be disabled. For them, life is unfulfilled and incomplete unless they becomes a full member of the disabled community as a physically disabled person. The leg-braces are the outward symbol of an inner struggle with self-identity that isn't won until the disabled state is achieved. There are striking parallels between how the wannabe feels and how someone with gender dysphoria feels - the "I'm in the wrong body" crisis.
Abasiophilia is a psychosexual attraction to people with impaired mobility, especially those who use orthopaedic appliances such as leg-braces, spinal braces or wheelchairs.
The devotee takes an almost obsessive interest in looking at disabled people. Although many are too ashamed of their feelings to actively stalk disabled people they may do so in a clandestine manner which is not obvious to the object of their gaze or to the public at large. If the opportunity presents itself, they may photograph their subject or even video them struggling to walk. For the devotee seeking real-life sightings of people in leg-braces becomes an obsessive, life-driving activity.