Scottish children with dyslexia are being "victimised and abused" by teachers who do not believe the condition exists, campaigners have warned.

According to Dyslexia Scotland, parents from across the country complain weekly that teachers are dismissive, ignorant and hostile towards affected pupils, despite the fact that one in 10 youngsters suffers from the condition.

As a result, it is feared that vulnerable youngsters' education is suffering and some are being driven to self harm.

In one case, the charity heard how a secondary school teacher confiscated a pupil's learning aid after calling the condition a "fad".

Dyslexia Scotland, which yesterday launched new guides to help teachers understand the condition, said the complaints highlighted the need for compulsory training for all teachers.

Moira Thomson, author of the guide and secretary of the Scottish Parliament cross-party working group on dyslexia, said: "I have spoken to parents across Scotland who are distraught because their children are being, in their view and in mine, abused and victimised by teachers who say they don't believe in dyslexia.

"I have heard of teachers being dismissive and unco-operative all over the country. The rest of the school can be supportive, but it only takes a single teacher who is not and it can really destroy a child.

"A lot of teachers are doing a wonderful job, but for every one of these really good teachers there are probably a couple who are mediocre, and a few who are so dismissive and hostile to the idea of dyslexia that children are totally miserable.

"These are the ones who start cutting themselves, or develop eating disorders."

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, president of Dyslexia Scotland, helped launch the new booklets at Perth High School yesterday. He said: "I truly hope all teachers will embrace this publication. If they can put into practice the guidance offered, it will make a fundamental difference to the way dyslexic children are taught in school today. Young people in Scotland deserve this chance."

A spokesman for the EIS teaching union said: "Schools and teachers want to ensure that all pupils receive proper support, although there are significant challenges and resource implications in achieving this. For teachers, the resources must be put in place to allow them to support all pupils with additional support needs, and there is a clear need for appropriate training."

Despite statistics which show that around one in 10 people suffers from dyslexia, some still question the existence of the condition.

Earlier this year, Professor Julian Elliott, an educational psychologist at Durham University, said dyslexia was an excuse for middle-class parents who did not want children to be labelled low achievers.

Dyslexia is now a recognised condition, but Dyslexia Scotland argues that that has led to a common misconception that children get the support they need in school.

A survey by the National Union of Teachers in England found that 77% of teachers would like training on how best to support children with specific learning difficulties.

Dyslexia Scotland also says many children are still not recognised as dyslexic through their entire education.

I don't know why I'm like this, I'm unwell'

As a pupil in a class of only five children at a tiny village primary, Alexander Orr was always likely to feel unsettled moving to a bigger school.

But nothing prepared his parents for his switch from a happy, enthusiastic child to a disruptive class clown.

After a conversation with relatives who had dyslexia, Alexander's mother Aileen suggested to the school that her son's behaviour might be a sign that he had it and was desperate to hide it.

Mrs Orr, 52, said: "The (special needs) teacher said extremely bluntly, no, hand on heart, he doesn't have dyslexia, but parents are always looking for excuses'."

Not long afterwards Alexander, 12, from Berwickshire, was suspended for unruly behaviour.

One day, he burst into tears and told his mother that he thought he was mentally ill. She said: "He kept saying, All the teachers hate me' and I don't know why I'm like this, I think I'm unwell'."

Private tests showed that he did have dyslexia - as did his father, Andrew, 51.

But the revelation this summer, mirroring the experience of racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart, offered only temporary respite.

For, although two teachers were privately supportive, Berwickshire High School refused to recognise that Alexander had the condition.

Now Mrs Orr, a political adviser, and her farmer husband are considering legal action against the school to get support for their son.

She said: "His behaviour is his coping mechanism. Directors of education need to accept that dyslexia exists and they have a moral obligation to provide support."

A council spokesman said it was "strongly committed to initiatives to support all pupils with additional support needs".