ABC After School Program Application 2023 >
My name is Debbie Bundock and I have been teaching baby signing classes in WA since February 2007.
I started signing in the UK when my youngest son was 11 months old. It made such a dramatic difference to both of our lives that I decided to give up my school teaching career and start up my own business teaching other parents to sign with their babies.
My sons are now 11 and 13 and although they do not need to sign to communicate their needs to me anymore, they still use signs for fun and as a second language.
I teach Auslan signs in all of my classes because it is the National Sign Language of Australia. By teaching your baby Auslan, the signs you use will be recognised and understood by members of the deaf community - allowing a very basic level of communication which would previously have been totally impossible. In addition, many Day Care Centres are now using some Auslan signs with their babies and toddlers, which is fantastic.
Signing Hands classes were originally only for babies and were intended to aid communication until speech developed. It became clear after the first year however that many parents wanted much more than this and so the toddler classes evolved. These classes are open to new pupils, they are not exclusively for children who signed as babies and they offer a much wider range of signs and activities.
The Kindy classes followed in the same way. Parents who had engaged in the baby and toddler classes found that their children gained so much from the experience that they wanted to continue learning it as a second language.
These classes are very special to me because I am constantly amazed at how clever these 3 and 4 year olds are and how quickly they pick up the new skills. I love teaching them how to sign full sentences, ask questions & respond to them. They are capable of holding real conversations with a deaf person, which is an amazing skill.